Always bugbear for the Leftists, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi is now turning a hero for one of their own icons, at least. His idea of giving away gifts that he gets as CM to the state treasury for auction to fund girls' education has won praise from former SC judge VR Krishna Iyer.
Iyer is venerated by the Communists because he was a member of the first Marxist government in Kerala under legendary EMS Namoodiripad.
Calling it as a model for other chief ministers to follow, Iyer has written to Modi, lauding his decision to auction all articles he receives as gifts every year for his pet project, Kanya Kelavani Yojana.
Under the project, Modi and his ministers undertake drive every June to enroll girls in schools and donate books, kits and toys to ensure they do not drop out. Modi has managed to collect Rs 48.76 crore as special fund for the project and improved the female literacy rate in the state, which has impressed Iyer.
In 2002, Justice Iyer along with Justice PB Sawant headed a citizens panel that was critical of Modi adminstration's handling of the riots. But Iyer's latest letter dated July 29 to Modi could be an embarrassment for the Leftists, who do not miss an opportunity to attack the CM over the 2002 riots in the state.
In the letter, Iyer addresses the CM as "my dear venerable Modi". "I hold you high as chief minister and as a model for other chief ministers in the country," he said.
Modi had, in fact, met Iyer a few months ago to brief him on what his government does in the state for girl children. Later, Iyer, who is chairman of the state-appointed panel for drafting a bill on children's code, sent the chief minister a copy of the draft bill.
From November 2001, when he took office, Modi has given away 7,994 gifts, which fetched enough money to help 42,944 girls. This year, he deposited 521 gifts he received to the state treasury, which will be auctioned and then the proceeds will be used for girls education.