US has begun warming to chief (prime) minister Narendra Modi

James Fontanella-Khan in Charanka, Gujarat, and James Lamont in New Delhi writes in Financial Times:

.…Such turbocharged growth, coupled with a report on the riots from a Supreme Court-appointed team that exonerated Mr Modi, has made the chief minister a possible prime ministerial candidate for the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party in 2014 parliamentary elections.

……“It is stupid if you are not in Gujarat,” Ratan Tata, the chairman of the Tata Group, once said in a ringing endorsement after moving his Nano plant from West Bengal to the state.

…..Not only has Mr Modi led an economic transformation built on the supply of electricity and improving roads, he has pulled off a remarkable rebranding of the state, largely centred on himself.

….Admirers say he has the instincts of a chief executive with little tolerance for underperformance among his officials. His critics say the “media hype” is intended to clean up his image, arguing that the communal riot and Mr Modi’s divisive, overtly religious stance make him unacceptable to India’s voters.

……One senior western diplomat says that while Gujarat’s boasts do not always live up to scrutiny, the international community is being forced to engage with Mr Modi in support of their business executives.

…..The US, which denied Mr Modi a visa in 2005 due to “particularly severe violations of religious freedom”, has begun warming to Gujarat’s chief minister. Peter Haas, the Mumbai-based US consul general, recently stood at Mr Modi’s side at the inauguration of the Gujarat Solar Park, praising the state’s government for creating the conditions and incentives for investment.

Read the full story in Financial Times: Modi puts Gujarat growth on a fast track

BBC: “Sorry (Narendra Modi), we goofed-up, “Gujarat ‘IS’ a red hot economy.”

Gujarat and Growth: Media does a Flip-Flop

The ” Modi”fied article of BBC can be read here:

Gujarat IS a red hot economy.”

In what can be termed as acute embarrassment to major media houses, a “Modi”fication of articles that were published, based on GDP of Gujarat state was done hurriedly. Today Business Standard, one of India’s leading newspaper, carried an article by AK Bhattacharya, with a set of figures that depict growth in Gujarat, trying to drive home a point that ‘growth of Gujarat is a myth’. Soon, other media houses like Rediff, and surprisingly the British Broadcasting Corporation joined the bandwagon. this resulted in print media splashing articles quoting the figures quoted by Business Standard. BBC even went to the extent of nailing Gujarat with a story titled “Is Gujarat’s Red Hot Economy a Myth?” But soon followed counter figures, with accurate proof, which put the very  same media houses to shame. The article published byBusiness Standard quotes the GDP of Gujarat as 6.3%, where as the actual figures stood at a towering 10.08%.

The credit of exposing the leading media houses and their credibility goes to Vijay (@centerofright) who exposed the mammoth difference between the real figures and what was contorted and published. With the real facts presented before them,Business Standard was forced to edit their original article and issue a clarification that read thus: This column has been modified to incorporate corrected data. (Read the article here).

The step taken by Business Standard of publishing the original article without conforming to real data and their subsequent correction led to an outright flurry over Twitter, the micro-blogging site. There were rampant discussions that questioned the credibility of leading media houses and the news they present the common man with. Even the reliability and integrity of BBC stood at stake. A shamefaced BBC had to change the title of their article to ‘Gujarat IS a Red Hot Economy’.

“It is silly that reputed media houses made mistake in a topic like GDP of Gujarat when Growth of Gujarat is a heavily debated issue.” Many tweeple raised their concern.

The ” Modi”fied article of BBC can be read here: “Gujarat IS a red hot economy.”

Is India’s ‘iron man’ Modi a spinmeister or is there something everybody is missing?

Mr Modi has become synonymous with Gujarat's growth

Is Gujarat’s red hot economy a myth?

BBC’s New Delhi correspondent, Soutik Biswas writes in his column:

Is Gujarat’s so-called red-hot economic growth a myth peddled by the government of the controversial chief minister Narendra Modi?

Mr Modi, who was blamed for not doing enough to stop the horrific 2002 anti-Muslim riots in the state after the burning of a train carrying Hindu pilgrims, has modelled himself as a no-nonsense economic reformer leading one of India’s fastest-growing states.

Gujarat also signed on to a fiscal responsibility law only after five other states did, and 20 states preceded Gujarat in implementing value added tax.

More interestingly, states like Uttarkhand (13.2%), Bihar (10.9%), Maharashtra (10.7%), Tamil Nadu (10.4%) and Haryana (10.1%) recorded double-digit growth in the seven-year period under review.

None of these states have the kind of hype associated with them as does Mr Modi’s Gujarat, which is often called the most business friendly state in India. So is Gujarat really the “breakout” state that Mr Modi wants the world to believe?

So is Mr Modi a spinmeister or is there something everybody is missing?

Read the full column: Is Gujarat’s red hot economy a myth?

Modi-1st Indian OBC leader in TIME

Soon after Narendra Modi was featured on the cover of Time magazine last month, his media managers went into overdrive saying the Gujarat chief minister was the firstIndian OBC leader to get this distinction.

Surprising this from a former poster-boy of Hindutva who has shunned the caste tag for wider acceptance in the majority community.

But as he faces assembly polls later this year – and aspires for a larger national role later – Modi is clearly positioning himself as an OBC leader for two reasons. First, he is wooing the OBCs to offset a deviant Patel vote-bank. At another level, he is pitching himself against two possible NDA contenders for prime ministership – Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan – both OBC leaders. The strategy makes sense. OBCs constitute about 30% and Patels around 20 % of the population in Gujarat.