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Modi ‘shirk’ potshot

Ahmedabad, Jan. 15: Narendra Modi today told a business meet that the country couldn’t function “by running away from responsibility”, apparently alluding to Rahul Gandhi and recalling that he himself hadn’t left the stage despite the Patna rally blasts.

“This is the reason for disappointment in our country. If the country gives us responsibility, we have to accept that.... By running away, the country does not function,” Modi told a meeting of business chamber Ficci here.

The comments come days before Rahul, who yesterday declared he would do “whatever the Congress orders him to follow”, is expected to be named prime ministerial candidate after years of reluctance to join the race.

Today, Modi harped on “leadership” as he blamed the UPA for the economy’s parlous shape. “When we talk about growth, infrastructure comes in and that is dependent on the energy sector. Industries are shut because of shortage of fuel. Someone has to take responsibility,” he said.

The comments at a business gathering were seen as part of the attempts by Modi, widely hailed by industry for his pro-business initiatives in Gujarat, to contrast his track record with the perception of “policy paralysis” that gripped the UPA government.

The Gujarat chief minister cited the late October blasts at his Patna rally venue to drive home his point that he “didn’t run away” from trouble.