Gandhinagar, March 22 (IANS) Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday used the latest WikiLeaks disclosures to pat himself on the back, saying “Now even the US knows that I am incorruptible”.
Reacting to the recent WikiLeaks disclosures in which a top US consular official described him as a “non-corrupt and efficient administrator”, Modi told reporters on the sidelines of an event this proved his credentials.
“WikiLeaks shows two faces – one that of the government of India and the other of progressive Gujarat,” the chief minister said.
In the latest leaked diplomatic cables accessed by The Hindu newspaper, Michael S. Owen, the US consul general in 2006, wrote to the US State Department that they might have to reassess the Gujarat chief minister, whose visa they revoked due to his alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Owen also said that Modi could emerge as the Bharatiya Janata Party’s next national leader.
“Modi has successfully branded himself as a non-corrupt, effective administrator, as a facilitator of business in a state with a deep commercial culture, and as a no-nonsense, law-and-order politician who looks after the interests of the Hindu majority.
“Modi’s backers in the BJP now hope to convince the party leadership that he can use these positive traits to attract voters throughout India. Some BJP leaders believe, or hope, that voters will forget or forgive Modi’s role in the 2002 bloodshed, once they learn to appreciate his other qualities,” Owen wrote in his assessment.
Modi said he met Owen in Mumbai, where they discussed Gujarat.
Recalling his meeting with Owen, Modi said: “I looked into his eyes and said, ‘do not preach… I am a son of India, I know what human rights violations you have done’. Good that the dialogue has been faithfully reproduced.”
The Gujarat chief minister also said he that “government of India should address the issue of American interference” in Indian affairs.