Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and expressed his unhappiness over the Centre's refusal to provide gas to the state at the same price at which it is given to Mumbai and Delhi.
"It was a very good meeting and we had a long discussion during which several different issues came up. The prime minister gave his good wishes for the development of Gujarat and the success of the new government. I gave an assurance that Gujarat will give full support to all measures taken for the welfare of the people," Modi said.
He was talking to reporters after an over hour-long meeting with PM Manmohan Singh at his residence. This was Modi's first meeting with Singh after his victory in the Gujarat Assembly elections in December last
In a memorandum submitted to the prime minister, Modi demanded that Gujarat be provided gas at the same rate as places like Delhi and Mumbai. "A legal battle is on between us and the Government of India. Gujarat is not given gas at the price at which Delhi and Mumbai get it. We had gone to court and won the case. Despite this the order was not implemented for six months and we filed a contempt petition," Modi said.
"Instead of accepting this order, the government moved the Supreme Court to delay the process. I have expressed my unhappiness to the prime minister over this," said the Gujarat chief minister.
"I also discussed gas prices and the Narmada irrigation project with him. The PM congratulated me for my new government. I also brought up the issue of Sardar Sarovar dam," he added.
Modi is scheduled to speak at a conclave organised by Delhi University's Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) later in the day. He is expected to talk on 'Emerging Business Models' in the global scenario.
A protest has been planned outside the college on Wednesday afternoon against Modi's visit to the university. "Do not legitimise the mastermind of Gujarat genocide in our academic spaces," said an SMS asking students to gather in the North Campus.
The Gujarat chief minister's visit to the national capital assumes significance in the wake of growing clamour in the BJP that he should be named as the party's 2014 prime ministerial candidate.
BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha, Shatrughan Sinha and noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani earlier openly endorsed Modi's name as prime ministerial candidate. The other BJP leaders have been so far evasive on this issue.
NDA allies like the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) have indicated that Modi's name is not acceptable to them. The Shiv Sena had earlier said that Sushma Swaraj is its first choice for the prime ministerial candidate in 2014.