New Delhi, Sept 24: Noted Economist Jagdish Bhagwati on Thursday, Sept 24, said that Narendra Modi was denied US visa at the request of the UPA government.
In an interview with NDTV, the Padma Vibhushan recipient Bhagwati said, "PM Modi is a very well informed, practical person. He didn't hold any grudges towards the US for denying visa."
On PM Narendra Modi, 80-year-old Bhagwati said, "Narendra Modi has Gujarat DNA, which is what makes Gujaratis love trade." [Modi should take forward what Manmohan started: Jagdish Bhagwati]
He also cautioned that Modi must push back more on the 'suit-boot' jibe.
He advised that PM should positively say he is not for bans like meat ban, especially with communal implications.
"PM has been very good on social issues, but too slow on trade and foreign investment", he said.
He also pointed out that PM has not done much of is appointing more Muslims and women to his Cabinet.
"I will give 7/10 to Modi's performance so far. 10 is impossible to get from a professor", he said.
On Nirmala Sithraman, he said, "Nirmala Sitharaman is trained in JNU which is a locus classicus of all the anti-trade people."
"Trade and investment are big concerns. We do not have leadership in the Commerce Ministry", he said.
On India's economic reforms, Bhagwati described himself as a 'gradualist' and said, "There is no one in India who is defining Indian interest properly."
While calling Hardik Patel 'heart ache' Patel for Modi government, Bhagwati said, "Hardik Patel has struck a chord with the middle class angst. Where will the middle class go with all the quotas everywhere?
Bhagwati termed India's reservation policy a 'disater', while adding that it should be reviewed.
"India must have more colleges, more seats in general category. Give the SC/STs massive handicaps, so that they can compete, not give them huge reservations", he said.