As Prime Minister Narendra Modi completes 20 years in public service, Union home minister Amit Shah on Sunday described him as one of the “most democratic leaders”. Responding to a question on Modi’s perception as a “dictator” during an interview with public broadcaster Sansad TV said, Shah said: “I have had the opportunity to work with Modi ji both in the opposition as well as in the government. I have never met a listener like him. Whatever the issues, Modi ji speaks as little as required and listens to everyone patiently.”
Shah added: “Modi considers the value of the person’s opinion, and not the person’s importance or lack thereof, and then takes a decision. So, there’s no truth to the charges that he is dictatorial. A perception of Modi taking unilateral decisions has been created by some people from rival ideologies to damage his image… He listens to everyone…The final decision rests with him, but of course, he is the prime minister,” Shah said.
He said: “Modi ji’s public life can be divided into three parts – as an organisational head after joining the BJP, second, as the chief minister of Gujarat and, third, as prime minister in national politics.”
“There were three big stages in the life of Modi ji. All three were challenging and he successfully overcame all the three challenges with great patience and strong political will and I believe that this is the great quality of his leadership,” he added.
“Yes, he takes some risks and insists on discipline but never imposes his will while taking important decisions related to governance and policy. Modi believes that we have not come to just run a government, but to build India,” Shah said. He added that those who have worked with Modi, including his critics, will agree that the Cabinet has never been run in such a democratic manner ever before.
In a dig at the Congress and Samajwadi Party, Shah alleged that some parties had adopted the ideology of nepotism and considered it their birth right to rule the country. Modi came and altered this style of politics, which led to attacks on his character by rival parties, he claimed.
“Criticise our policies all you like; if there is corruption in our government, then throw light on it; point out our failures to the people. But resorting to personal attacks against Modi brings down the level of political discourse,” Shah said.