Maharashtra-Haryana Assembly Elections

Sharad Yadav welcomes Amartya's view on Modi

New Delhi, PTI | Updated : 23 July 2013, 04:37 PM

JD(U) president Sharad Yadav on Tuesday welcomed Nobel laureate Amartya Sen's comment that he does not want Narendra Modi to be the country's prime minister and said he agreed with the renowned economist's views.

"I welcome his statement. If not for him (Modi), our alliance with BJP would not have broken," he said.

Sen had said yesterday that as an Indian citizen he does not want Modi as his PM. "He has not done enough to make minorities feel safe," Sen had said while disapproving of Modi's economic model as well.

Yadav held Gujarat Chief Minister responsible for diverting public attention from burning issues of corruption, unemployment and farmers' plight and said both big parties, ruling Congress and opposition BJP, were indulging in a slugfest over non-issues.

"Since this man from Gujarat has arrived on the national scene, this drama has begun," he said.

Yadav also distanced himself from comments reportedly made by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Education minister PK Shahi, hinting at a conspiracy behind the mid-day meal tragedy, and said, "One could reach a conclusion only after the probe is over.

"I do not know what Nitish or Shahi said," Yadav said, adding that no government could have done anything as a tragedy like this happened for the first time in the state.

He dismissed BJP's allegations that his party is poaching on its disgruntled MLAs in the state and said it was the responsibility of the saffron party to keep its house in order.

"We have a majority without their support. We do not need to break any party. They (MLAs) are unhappy with BJP and it is obvious from their statements," he said.

Sen has previously been attacked by economist Jagdish Bhagwati for supporting an inclusive growth model where government spends on public services like education and health services.

Bhagwati, a professor at Columbia University, has backed the economic model that poverty can be reduced with the help of a higher growth rate.

At the book launch, Sen rebutted Bhagwati's claim that the Nobel Laureate has advocated the redistribution model for rapid growth.

"I'm not recommending redistribution I have never spoken of redistribution. Redistribution means taking from the rich and giving to the poor. What the poor need most are public services in education, health, literacy," Sen said.

The economist said he was most likely to be misunderstood by journalists.

"I have grown quite used to the fact that no matter what I say in a meeting I can see headlines next day about 'Amartya Sen saying growth is not adequate'... Growth is important but we are also very concerned with understanding how growth has come about", Sen said.

The book points out that during the last twenty years or so, the Indian economy has been one of the fastest-growing in the world, yet real wages have virtually stagnated. But this, say the authors has not attracted serious attention in policy circles. In contrast, real wages have been rising at about 7 per cent per year in China.

The book concludes with a strong case for the possibility of change through democratic practice. The reorientation of democratic dialogue, however, it says requires a clearer understanding of the vast deprivations and inequalities that blight Indian society on Tuesday.

The book by Sen and Dreze "An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions", has been published by Penguin.

First Published: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 03:43 PM
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