Modi should take forward what Manmohan started: Jagdish Bhagwati

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Bangalore, April 28: Indian-born noted Economist Jagdish Bhagwati has stated that how Lok Sabha election 2014 are being fought on the economic grounds.

In an interview to The 545, the Padma Vibhushan recipient Bhagwati said he expects BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi to open up the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail sector by "after about a year, year and a half" if he comes to office.

Jagdish Bhagwati

On Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi's recent barb on Gujarat development as a "toffee model", 79-year-old Bhagwati said that he was "quite surprised" to find that the state had improved considerably under Modi's rule.

"Gujarat's success shouldn't be measured in terms of the levels of social indicators instead the focus should be on "first differences", he said.

Born in a Gujarati family, Bhagwati also expects Modi to take forward what PM Dr Manmohan Singh started like engagement with the East. Bhagwati is reportedly a close-friend of Manmohan Singh.

Put the controversies surrounding communal violence to rest: Bhagwati to BJP

Bhagwati has also given three suggestions to the BJP-NDA government if it forms the government- open up to international trade, encourage foreign investment, and put the controversies surrounding communal violence "to rest."

"I think we need parties with different combinations of these things but basically accepting the lessons of the last 30 years or more. We need a different kind of politics now - where there is broad agreement on where we should position ourselves in terms of our economic and political orientation", he concluded.

In an interview to Reuters, Bhagwati said that he saw himself on an external council advising the prime minister Narendra Modi.

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