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US Congress report praises Modi, terms him as future PM candidate

Press Trust of India

Wednesday, September 14, 2011,

Washington: A report drawn up by the US Congressional Research Service has identified Gujarat under chief minister Narendra Modi as offering perhaps the best example of effective governance and impressive development in India, and observed that under his watch the state had become a key driver of national economic growth.

Gujarat is followed by Bihar, whose chief minister Nitish Kumar too comes in for praise for his governance and administrative skills.

"Perhaps India's best example of effective governance and impressive development is found in Gujarat, where controversial Chief Minister Narendra Modi has streamlined economic processes, removing red tape and curtailing corruption in ways that have made the state a key driver of national economic growth," the CRS report noted.

The CRS is an independent and bipartisan wing of the US Congress, and prepares periodic reports on issues of interest to the US lawmakers. The 94-page report on India was released by the CRS for US lawmakers on September 1.

"Seeking to overcome the taint of his alleged complicity in the 2002 riots, Modi has overseen heavy investment in modern roads and power infrastructure, and annual growth of more than 11 per cent in recent years," the CRS report noted.

Gujarat, the report added, has attracted major international investors such as General Motors and Mitsubishi. The state, which has only 5 per cent of India's population, now accounts for more than one-fifth of India's exports, it said.

The report terms Narendra Modi as BJP's one of the key candidates for the prime ministership. "Yet among the party's likely candidates for the prime ministership in future elections is Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who has overseen impressive development successes in his state, but who is also dogged by controversy over his alleged complicity in lethal anti-Muslim rioting there in 2002," it said.

Next in line for high praise was Bihar under Nitish Kumar. "Another positive example in 2011 has been Bihar, one of India's poorest states, where Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has won national attention through his considerable success in emphasising good governance over caste-based politics."

The report claims that the governance examples set in by chief ministers Modi and Kumar may have inspired Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati.

"Chief Minister Mayawati, who is widely believed to maintain national political ambitions and was at the forefront of a nascent "Third Front" in 2009, has shifted her own focus much more toward infrastructure projects such as road-building and improving the state's poor energy grid," the report said.

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