After Amartya Sen’s controversial remarks that he would not like to see Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as India’s Prime Minister, another noted economist, Jagdish Bhagwati said he has no particular affection for either Modi or Rahul Gandhi.
“I am not going to vote for Modi. I have no particular affection for him. But I have no particular affection for Rahul Gandhi also. I want all the progressive people, no matter which party they belong to, to look at ideas they are proposing and show where they stand and what they are going to do with these ideas.”
Asked if he would like to see Modi as Prime Minister, he said he would not go by personalities and would like to see what their platforms and programmes were. He said he was in favour of social indicators and social progress and the reason why he liked the Gujarat model was that growth had taken place on social indicators.
“I don’t know what his model is. What has happened in Gujarat is that relatively rapid growth has taken place. He has actually been very good about getting licences cleared quickly. He has added to electricity supply, which is a big problem.All of which is exactly the way development takes place. I also find social progress has taken place,” Bhagwati said of Modi’s governance.
Bhagwati, who has been critical of Amartya Sen’s model of growth, has said that the Nobel laureate has actually hurt the poor in India by not really supporting the reforms in 1991 and pushing for food security Bill, which would create inflation.
Bhagwati, a pro-liberal and market oriented economist, however, did not want to get into the debate over whether Sen should be stripped of the Bharat Ratna as demanded by BJP MP Chandan Mitra.