Dismissing BJP prime ministerial candidate candidate Narendra Modi's claims of the Gujarat model of development's superiority, union Finance Minister P.Chidambaram Saturday termed the state "average" and expressed skepticism over the model's successful implementation elsewhere. Calling Gujarat an "average state" on the basis of indicators generally used to denote development, he told reporters that the state's rankings based on these parameters were hardly stellar.
According to the statistics he cited, Gujarat ranks fifth in the country when it comes to annual growth rate, while in terms of poverty headcount ratio (for the year 201-12), the state ranks 14th. The state's infant mortality rate is 9th in the country, while its literacy rate in the year 2011 puts it at 12th position in the country. When it comes to the number of households with electricity in the country, the state is behind nine better performing states in the country, while its statewide coverage of roads, for the year 2011(kms per 10,000 population) puts it at the 22nd position in the country.
"Touting the Gujarat model of development as universally applicable is an exaggerated and boastful claim. We reject it. Modi should moderate his claims," said Chidambaram. However, the finance minister said that the rankings provided were calculated among 28 states in some cases and a lesser number in others.