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After Narendra Modi today blamed the Centre for not ensuring development of North-Eastern states, Congress retaliated saying the BJP leader should "stop worrying" about the region and challenged him for an "open debate" on Gujarat's development during his tenure.
"The basic question is what development has taken place in Gujarat during the last eleven years. The development of Gujarat from 1947 till the time BJP came to power was done by the Congress.
"Why does he avoid an open discussion on the facts related to development under the Gujarat model that he talks about," Union minister Manish Tewari told reporters here.
Tewari, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Information and Broadcasting, said that Modi is ready to have discussions over tea but avoids a debate on the Gujarat model of development.
"So before him worrying over the development of the North East, we give him an open challenge for a debate on Gujarat's development under his tenure," Tewari said.
Modi today attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his speech in Imphal, saying he had failed to ensure the development of the North East region despite representing it for the last 23 years in the Rajya Sabha.
"The Congress chief ministers invite the Prime Minister for laying foundation stone or cutting ribbons for projects but it ends there and nothing happens afterwards," Modi claimed.
Meanwhile, Tewari condemned the incident in which a 14-year-old girl, hailing from a North Eastern state, was allegedly raped by her landlord's son in South Delhi's Munirka area. Tewari said that violence of any sort is extremely reprehensible and hoped that the police acts and all those who are responsible are caught and brought to justice.