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Narendra Modi wants to be in the same frame as Mahatma Gandhi
Ehtasham Khan in Mumbai |
January 07, 2005 17:38 IST
Gujarat is the land of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi.
Chief Minister Narendra Modi decided to drum in this point to delegates from across the world, who have gathered in Mumbai for the three-day Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
The well-decorated Gujarat stall at the venue showcasing the state's achievement has a life-size picture of Mahatma Gandhi.
At one corner, there is a picture of the residence of Surendra Rai in Ahmedabad. Gujarat Minister for Law and Justice Ashok Bhatt explained the connection.
Gandhi -- a symbol of peace and non-violence -- stayed in this house on February 15, 1915 when he visited Ahmedabad.
Modi was the first chief minister to inaugurate the pavilion of his state in the exhibition hall at the PBD venue. Fourteen other states have also put up stalls.
After cutting the ribbon, Modi went inside to light some candles kept near Gandhi's portrait.
As he bent to light the candles, Modi told photographers, "Please ensure that you get the portrait and my picture in the same frame."
When asked why he wanted his picture with Mahatma Gandhi, Modi said, "I am a small being. He is a great Mahatma."
When someone asked if it was because Modi's name has been linked to sectarian violence in Gujarat, the chief minister turned his face away and went on a tour of the other stalls in the exhibition hall. The tour lasted about an hour.
Later, Modi said he would be inviting PBD delegates to visit his state and invest there.
"I want my Indian brothers to share their experience and knowledge with us. If they want to use their resources properly, then they should come to Gujarat," he said.He said that Gujarat had attracted investment of Rs 56,000 crore in 2004. "We have prepared 300 projects in which investments can be made. We want to become the engine of growth for India," he said.