"My mother and Harvard taught me the value of hard work".
This is what Finance Minister P Chidambaram said on Monday to hit back at Gujarat Chief Narendra Modi who had taken a dig at him a few days back by saying that high growth rate in Gujarat was because of his hard work and not education in Harvard University.
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Chidambaram, while presenting the Vote-on-Account in the Lok Sabha, highlighted that the country had seen high growth rate during the UPA rule of 10 years-8.4 per cent during UPA-I and 6.6 per cent during UPA-II.
"...all this is the result of hard work. I may add, among other mentors, my mother and Harvard taught me the value of hard work," he said.
Though he did not name Modi, Chidambaram was clearly responding to the jibe of the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate.
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Taunting the Finance Minister repeatedly at a rally in Chennai last week, Modi had said that India under Chidambaram and noted economist Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has registered high unemployment, fiscal debt and low growth.
"Going to Harvard means nothing. What matters is hard work....A man who has just studied in an ordinary school, sold tea and has not even seen the doors of Harvard has shown what it takes to handle economy.
"Gujarat has shown an average growth of 10.1 percent for the last ten years while the national average has been 7.6 under UPA and it has fallen to 4.5 in the last two years," Modi had said.
The Gujarat Chief Minister had made the comments in response to Chidambaram's dig that Modi's knowledge of economy can be written on the back of a postage stamp.