Buoyed by what he called an unprecedented response to his five-day trip to the United States, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Friday said “Friends of MP”, a portal he inaugurated in New York early this week, will have chapters in more than half a dozen countries, including the UK, Australia and Singapore.
Chouhan, who returned to Bhopal on Friday evening, said NRIs were curious to know how Madhya Pradesh had achieved such a fast pace of growth, especially in the agricultural sector, and were keen to participate in the growth story. He said 11,000 NRIs had registered themselves with the portal on the very first day.
MP does not boast of too many of its residents having settled abroad, especially the US, and has always struggled to attract investment or association of any kind.
“We wanted MP to become famous, but did not anticipate the welcome that I got at Lincoln Centre in New York. I wondered who would bother to come in minus 10 degree bone-chilling temperature but they played dhol while leading me to the stage,’’ he said.
To a question, he admitted that the welcome he got was no patch on the Madison Square event and described Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “charismatic and global leader”.
Chouhan said during his US trip, close on the heels of President Barack Obama’s visit to India, he could sense new found respect in the eyes of Americans and Indian-Americans. “They all have positive attitude towards us and India is on way to become a superpower.’’
The Congress, however, has trashed Chouhan’s visit as “personal” insinuating that he went there for his son’s admission. Chouhan, who had travelled with his wife Sadhna Singh and several bureaucrats, refused to answer the charge.