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UP election 2017 highlights – Modi attacks Amartya Sen, says hard work better than Harvard

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Lucknow: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while targeting Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen said that that hard work was more powerful than Harvard. This is an obvious reference to the renowned economist who has attacked Modi’s demonetization or notebandi that all of in a sudden abolished 86 percent legal currency in India.

Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen has been very outspoken in his opposition to Modi’s demonetization that put the whole nation under tremendous pressure. People had to stand in queues for several days to get a couple of thousand rupees. This also took the lives of more than a hundred people.

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While addressing an election rally in Maharajganj, close to Gorakhpur, in Uttar Pradesh, Modi said, “hard work is more powerful than Harvard…On the one hand are those (critics of note ban) who talk of what people at Harvard say and on the other hand is poor man’s son who through his hard work is trying to improve the economy…In fact, hard work is much more powerful than Harvard.”

Modi cited the data released by Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) that claims the demonetisation did not affect India’s growth rate. While Prime Minister might give such statistics, there are many top of the line economists, besides rating agencies across the world that have called the decision mindless that will badly impact the basis of Indian economy.

It should be kept in mind that Amartya Sen, who is also a Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University, has been critical of Modi’s policies and has termed demonetisation as a “despotic action that has struck at the root of economy based on trust.” On Tuesday, the Centre pegged the GDP growth at a higher-than-expected 7.1 per cent for 2016-17 despite the note ban decision. The GDP figures made it clear that India remains the fastest growing major economy with China coming in the second spot.

Modi claimed that his party had already won the elections in UP in the five phases of elections. He went on to add that now they would give surplus votes as “gift and bonus” in the remaining two rounds. In a statement that drew applause from the audience, he said, “I request the voters of the state to give the rest of the two phases as bonus to the party. This is similar to the chillies and coriander leaves, which the vegetable seller gives to the buyer as bonus.” Only a few days back, the Prime Minister had talked about the possibility of a hung assembly in Uttar Pradesh. He had said the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party were waiting for such an opportunity for bargaining, prompting state Chief Minister and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav to comment that after dreaming of 300 plus seats, Modi was now talking about fractured verdict. An internal RSS survey has said that in the first 4 phases, BJP might get 75 seats.

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