New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister Narender Modi is making headlines over a controversial statement to The Wall Street Journal. He linked the state's malnutrition to vegetarianism and figure-conscious girls.
"Gujarat is by and large a vegetarian state. And secondly, Gujarat is also a middle-class state. The middle-class is more beauty-conscious than health-conscious – that is a challenge. If a mother tells her daughter to have milk, they'll have a fight. She'll tell her mother, 'I won't drink milk. I'll get fat'," Modi said in the interview.
Modi parried a question whether he sees himself as a future prime minister, saying he was concentrating on Gujarat. "I can't think beyond that," he said.
In the interview, Modi also ruled out an apology for the 2002 Gujarat riots. "One only has to ask for forgiveness if one is guilty of a crime. If you think it's such a big crime, why should the culprit be forgiven? Just because Modi is a chief minister, why should he be forgiven? I think Modi should get the biggest punishment possible if he is guilty. And the world should know there isn't any tolerance for these kind of political leaders," Modi said.
(With additional information from PTI)