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Modi ups chic quotient on Hangout, live!

R. Dinakaran
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Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi

Twitter and Facebook had gone viral with it.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was going live online, answering questions through Google Plus’ Hangout, at 8 p.m. Friday. But by the time the interaction started, it was well past 8.45. The reason — the response was so overwhelming that Google Plus crashed.

Actor Ajay Devgn, the anchor, and Narendra Modi began by profusely apologising for the delay.

When the Hangout finally started, some came straight to the point.

Others, including a fawning fan from the US, gave mini speeches, and urged Modi to “come to the US as Prime Minister (sic).”

Rural thrust

Coming to serious matters, Modi said rural uplift was a key priority. He spoke of uninterrupted power supply and broadband connectivity in Gujarat’s villages.

Even as farm sector growth was languishing at below 3 per cent overall, Gujarat was witnessing more than 10 per cent increases, he said.

Production of milk was 60 per cent higher, he said.

On power, Modi said he had decided to go green and invest in solar power even though Gujarat was a power surplus State. It now is the largest solar power producer in Asia, he said.

Solar power panels laid across irrigation canals had double benefits. Apart from producing power, the panels helped in stemming water lost through evaporation. Modi said Gujarat was the only State with a department for climate change.

On gender ratio, Modi took the example of tribals, where the ratio was in favour of women. He detailed his Government’s moves to empower women.

Gujarat has waived stamp duty on property bought by women, he said . Homes distributed by his Government were in the names of women, he pointed out. .

What’s with the Kurtas?

A young woman had a question about his famous kurtas. They were so good and popular, were they designer kurtas, she asked.

‘I am the designer,’ he quipped.

Explaining, he said, long kurtas were a no-no as they were difficult to wash (Modi said he used to wash his own clothes earlier). So, he got them trimmed into shorter kurtas that were easy to wash and comfortable to carry around.

“Now, it has become a fashion. ‘Modi kurtas’ are being sold everywhere,” he said.

dinakaran.rengachary

@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 2, 2012)
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