Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma termed the Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP's prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi as someone who is being "packaged and marketed" well.
Contrary to Modi's claim of the state being the largest beneficiary of Foreign Direct Investment, Gujarat has received only $8 billion of foreign investment during the 13-year period beginning 2000, the Union Minister said.
With Rs 1.38 trillion (lakh crore) debt, Gujarat is the third most indebted state in the country, while it ranks sixth in FDI, he said.
"Modi is being packaged and marketed (well). Sometimes you have to see packaging which may look attractive, but what about the product? It may be sub-standard."
Reeling off RBI data on FDI, Sharma said while Gujarat got just $8 billion between 2000 and 2013, Maharashtra attracted the highest, $63 billion of FDI during this period.
"Modi speaks about development model and investment. Since 2000-13, Modi has been talking about vibrant Gujarat. He has been saying the state has signed Rs 10-14 trillion worth MoUs.
"But according to the RBI data, total FDI received in the country between 2000 and 2013 was $300 billion, of which Maharashtra got $63 billion. The NCR, some of which is going in Haryana, UP and Rajasthan, got around $34 billion. Then comes Tamil Nadu, Andhra (Pradesh), Karnataka and Gujarat at $8 billion," Sharma said.
The Minister was here to sign MoUs for the first phase of Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project in Maharashtra.
"The rural area (in Gujarat) is not developed, there is malnutrition, and school drop-out rate is also high," he said.
"But Modi takes credit, though it is the third most indebted state. Nearly Rs 1.38 trillion is the debt of the state...," Sharma said.