Former finance minister P Chidambaram today claimed that Gujarat lags behind developed states if human development index parameters are compared. Targeting the Gujarat model of development, he said that if human development indicators such as literacy rate, life expectancy, infant mortality, per capital social expenditure and total capital expenditure are compared, then “the state lags behind Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu”. Addressing party workers here on the birth centenary of former prime minister Indira Gandhi, Chidambaram said, “It is unfortunate that the Government of India is not celebrating her centenary. But I assure that 100 years later too, the Congress will celebrate her 200th anniversary. Her name will live forever.” Lauding Indira Gandhi’s development model, he said the poor was at the centre of her policies.
“She is one of the greatest leaders born in this country. She believed that any policy or programme must promote the welfare of the poor,” he said. The former union minister said the development models of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahuil Gandhi continue to insist on poor-centric policies. “This is one of the greatest contributions of Indira Gandhi,” he said, adding she was the first leader to speak on climate change and put India on the space map.