As an Indian citizen, he does not want Narendra Modi to be the Prime Minister because the Gujarat chief minister hasn’t done enough to make minorities feel safe, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has said.
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi at the party's national executive meeting in Panaji, Goa. PTI Photo
The noted economist not only questioned the Gujarat strongman’s secular credentials but also criticised Modi’s model of governance, saying he didn’t approve of it.
“As an Indian citizen, I don’t want Modi as my PM... He has not done enough to make minorities feel safe,” Sen told CNN-IBN in an interview.
On being asked why he did not want the Gujarat chief minister as the prime minister, Sen said, “He could have first of all been more secular and he could have made the minority community feel more secure.”
On whether he approved the highly debated Modi model of governance, the economist replied in the negative. “I don’t think the record is very good. I don’t have to be a member of the minority in order to feel insecure. I could be a member of the majority.”
Sen said according to him Indians did not want a situation where the minorities “could legitimately think that there was an organised violence against them in 2002. That’s a terrible record”.
Sen, however, agreed that Modi had achieved significant progress in building infrastructure in his state.
When asked to compare Modi with Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, Sen said, “That comparison is slightly unfair. Nitish is dealing with the poorest in India, Modi is dealing with a relatively richer state… I think in his condition Nitish is showing a great vision. In a way that will be very important for the future of Bihar.”
Recently named the chief of the BJP’s campaign panel for 2014, Modi is being seen as the party’s prime ministerial candidate which has once again put the spotlight back on his role during the 2002 violence. His critics accuse him of not doing enough to contain the worst communal violence Gujarat has seen.