Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa yesterday dismissed as a “myth” the Gujarat model of development and said Tamil Nadu was placed far better in various sectors.
In a strong rebuttal to the BJP's prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi on his charge that her party was not concerned about people's welfare, she said Tamil Nadu was ahead of Gujarat in various indicators including social indices and industry.
“A myth has been created that Gujarat is No.1 in India. But that is not true. The fact of the matter is that Gujarat is keen to market itself, but Tamil Nadu, under my leadership, is focussed not in making empty claims, but more determined to deliver,” she told an election rally in Krishnagiri, a day after Modi campaigned for the NDA in the town in western Tamil Nadu.
Stepping up his attack on the AIADMK and the DMK, Modi had accused the two parties of being interested only in settling personal scores rather than working for people whenever they came to power.
Reeling out statistics to repudiate the Gujarat development model, the main plank of Modi, Jayalalithaa said Below Poverty Rate rate was 16.9 per cent in Gujarat while it was only 11.3 per cent in her state which was also better placed in terms of Infant Mortality Rate, at 21 per 1000 as against Gujarat's 38.
So was the case with Maternal Mortality Rate, with Gujarat accounting for 122 as against Tamil Nadu's 90, she said.
Tamil Nadu was ahead of Gujarat in other indicators like number of graduates in the manufacturing sector, better coverage of PDS even as it was ranked third in terms of Gross State Domestic Product, two places ahead of Gujarat.
Number of industries in Tamil Nadu outnumber Gujarat even as the state's food grains production touched 101.51 lakh tonnes in 2011-12, even as Gujarat produced only 88.74 lakh tonnes, she said adding her state was way ahead of Gujarat in many sectors, she noted.
Jayalalithaa also listed out various welfare schemes of her government including marriage assistance to poor women, free bicycles and laptops to students and the flagship free mixer-grinder-fan scheme.
Holding that she had launched the low-cost Amma unavagams (Amma canteens) besides a slew of social security schemes, she asked, “Aren't these schemes designed with the aim of benefiting the poor?”