(MENAFN - Arab News) A majority of Indians in Jeddah have welcomed Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's recent speech in which he said Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi would be a disaster as the country's prime minister.
They said Singh spoke like a statesman, and proved his credentials as an intellectual. He asked Indians to avoid supporting a leader not worth following.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is projecting Modi as its prime ministerial candidate in the upcoming polls. Surprisingly, there is no unanimity on the issue among different BJP factions.
Expats said Modi's boring speeches were full of false claims, which have earned him the title of "feku" (a braggart). He is long on words and short on performance.
For instance, according to the Human Development Index, Gujarat is at No. 11 in terms of growth and development.
In per capita income, Haryana and Maharashtra are ahead of Gujarat, while Kerala tops in education. Expats pointed out that Modi has no educational qualification, which is evident from the language he uses.
Muhammad Tehqique, a plant manager, said: "Gujarat has tremendous potential and resources, both natural and human. If Modi gives up rhetoric and understands reality, he can make Gujarat surpass others in the country. All he has to do is to come out of the narrow shell and adopt a national vision.
"Modi should learn from Arvind Kejriwal, chief minister of Delhi, and his Aam Admi Party. While some states have begun to follow their style without acknowledging the fact, Modi should not shy away."
Nasir Jamal, lead auditor at Lloyds Agency, said that in his two terms of office as prime minister, Manmohan Singh has not spoken much but when he did, he hit the nail on the head.
"Late, but quite right," he said, adding that Modi has still not apologized or at least admitted lapse, which goes to show his arrogance and ignorance.
"Only the learned and the honest admit their mistakes, and Modi is neither. A lot of money is being spent on his image-building, but it will not bear any fruit for him or his party," he said.
Mallika Sarabhai, a noted danseuse and cultu
ral icon of Gujarat, sees her state under serious threat from the rapid growth of the Hindutva ideology. Gujarat, according to her, has become worse since 2002.
"There are many more people against Modi than there were in 2002 and 2007. Diverse parties have joined hands to defeat Modi this time. Everything he does is with an agenda and nothing is done for the people," she said.