Union commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma on Saturday accused Narendra Modi of "political plagiarism", saying the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) prime ministerial candidate had nothing new to offer and was rehashing the Centre's achievements.
In an exclusive interview to HT, Sharma, however, admitted while Modi had "packaged himself well", the Congress could not successfully articulate its achievements owing to "communication failure".
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"He (Modi) talks about industrial corridors when we (the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government) are already working on four of them.
"He talks about manufacturing sector. We have already notified 14 National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZ) and unveiled a National Manufacturing Policy," Sharma said.
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The minister brushed aside Modi's campaign promise to build a Brand India by focusing on five Ts — tradition, talent, tourism, technology and trade.
"Are these new concepts in India? Did India ever lack any of these? He is recharging old ideas."
Sharma also said Modi had successfully marketed himself as a chief minister who had done wonders to Gujarat.
"It is not that we do not enjoy the confidence of the industries. But Modi has packaged himself well. He markets himself as a CM who has ensured phenomenal growth and made Gujarat a favourite destination of investments.
"The Opposition created an atmosphere, fuelled by a lot of untruths, fabrication and half-truths. This shrill negative narrative is hurting the India story and we allowed it to be loaded against us," Sharma said.