Bhopal: Union Minister Uma Bharti came out strongly in support of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over his claim that roads in the state are better than those in the US.
Mr Chouhan recently came under fire for telling a Washington gathering that he found roads in Madhya Pradesh better than those in Washington. His comments came soon after the roads in the state came under scrutiny.
"Certainly there are world-class roads in Madhya Pradesh, including the VIP Road in Bhopal which is of world standards, and we should shun this inferiority complex that the US is better than India," Ms Bharti said at a press conference at her house here.
"In many areas we are far better than that country and there is a need to change the mindset of people," she said.
Ms Bharti also said that she took 'sannyas' at Amarkantak 25 years ago, and therefore she is going to visit the holy place, the origin of the river Narmada, again to pay her respects.
"The architecture at Rameshwaram, Ajanta Ellora, Khajuraho and the river Ganga are some of the examples where we are far ahead of the US. India can lead the world in many areas including (values of) humanity," she said.
"Chouhan has shown the courage and boldly highlighted India's strength. No doubt some of the roads in the state are better than those in the US," she said.
"The chief minister's statement has started a debate. There is a need to change the mindset of people, especially the English-speaking classes (which leads them to think) that in every sphere West is better than India," Ms Bharti said.
The way Mr Chouhan was mocked on social media after his statement about roads in the state pained her, and as a true patriot she has come out openly in support of him and addressing this press conference today, she said.
"Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India would certainly march ahead of rest of the world in many areas. At many multi-national companies, top brains are Indians," Ms Bharti said.
Relations between Ms Bharti and Mr Chouhan had turned bitter when she was denied the post of chief minister in 2005-06.