A day after the latest data revealed that the economy clocked a faster-than-expected growth of 7 per cent despite demonetisation in the third quarter of the financial year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi mocked economists and political rivals who had questioned the note ban, saying “Harvard se jyada dum hota hai hard work mein (hard work is stronger than Harvard)”.
Making political hay of data released by the Central Statistics Office and taking a swipe at economists — some like Harvard professor and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen called demonetisation a “despotic action that has struck at the root of economy based on trust” while Manmohan Singh who went to Oxford described it as “organised loot and legalised plunder” — Modi told election rallies in Maharajganj and Deoria that “ek taraf woh vidhwano ki jamaat hai jo Harvard University ke naam par baat karte hain, ek aur garib ma ka beta hai jo hard work ke dwara desh ki arth-neeti badalne par laga hua hai (on the one hand, there are intellectuals who speak in the name of Harvard University, and on the other, a poor mother’s son is trying to change the economic policy of the country)”.
Watch Video | UP: PM Modi Says Country Has Seen The Difference Between ‘Harvard And Hard-Working’ People
In Maharajganj, Modi said: “Bade-bade vidhwan, koi Harvard ke, koi Oxford ke… 30-40 saal desh ke arth tantra mein bade sthan nibhane wale bade arthshastri unhone keh diya… koi keh raha tha 2 per cent GDP kam ho jayega, koi keh raha tha 4 per cent GDP kam ho jayega. Bhaiyon-behno, desh ne dekh liya… Harvard walon ki soch kya hoti hai… hard work walon ki soch kya hoti hai… Harvard aage bada ya hard work… desh ke kisano ne dikha diya hai, desh ke majdooron ne dikha diya hai, desh ke imandaron ne dikha diya hai… Harvard se jyada dum hota hai hard work mein.”
(Great intellectuals from Harvard, Oxford… who served in high positions of the country’s economic structure for 30-40 years… some said the GDP will fall by 2 per cent, others said by 4 per cent… But the country is witness… what is the thinking of those from Harvard, and those who do hard work… Did Harvard go forward or hard work? The farmers, workers, honest of the country have shown them… hard work is stronger than Harvard.)
“Aapne dekha hoga hamare vipaksh ke log ek saal pehle kehte thhey aarthik vikas chaupat ho gaya hai… GDP nahin ho raha hai… desh tarakki nahin kar raha hai. Jab maine 8 November ko raat 8 baje TV par kaha, mere pyare deshvasiyon, poora desh jaag gaya… 500 and 1000 ki note bandh ho gai… tab inhone kaha ki Modiji humay samajh nahin aa raha ki desh tej gati se aage badh raha tha… arthik drishti se chhalang lagane ko taiyyar tha… usi samay notebandi karke payr kyun kaat liye aur chaupat kar diya… phir kaha rojgaar chale gaye… kisaan barbaad ho gaya… buai bahin hui… udyog bandh ho gaye… desh pichad gaya,” he said.
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(You must have heard the Opposition say that economic development has been ruined… GDP is not growing, the country is not making progress. At 8 pm on November 8, when I said my beloved countrymen, the entire country woke up… 500 and 1,000 notes were stopped. Then they said, Modi, we can’t understand… just when the country was surging ahead, ready to make the economic leap, why did you ban notes to cripple the country. Then they said jobs were lost, farmers ruined, industries shut and the country was lagging behind.”)
Modi said the voters of Uttar Pradesh have already ensured the BJP’s victory in the first five phases and they sill now give surplus votes as “gift and bonus” in the remaining two rounds. “I request the voters of the state to give the rest of the two phases as bonus to the party. This is similar to the chillies and coriander leaves, which the vegetable seller gives to the buyer as bonus,” he said.