Accusing Narendra Modi of practising “silence” since assuming power, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday said his style of governance was “autocratic” which was “not very good” for a healthy democracy.
He claimed that people are “already disillusioned” with the Modi government and cited the recent win of the Congress in Uttarakhand by polls as “an indication that people have realised their mistake”.
Chavan said that Congress knew that Modi’s style of running Gujarat was always autocratic and even in the election campaign, the party had said “we are afraid that there will be a very autocratic government in Delhi and now it is coming to light”. “Whether it is how the Ministers are treated, whether itis who is in the inner core team, what autonomy the Ministers get,” he said.
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He called the Prime Minister “Maunendra Modi” (silent) for not taking people into confidence or articulating his viewpoints on important issues. “The point is that Modi never took stand even during elections. He never articulated his vision on foreign policy, economy, social issues or even the favourite theme of the RSS, the common civil code, Article 370 and Ram Mandir. He just came and sold a dream of Modi sarkar,” Chavan said.
He said there was anger against the UPA government over various issues and it was utilised by Modi to sell himself. “And he did sell himself himself like selling a product,a toothpaste or soap. Excellent marketing technique, massive advertisement and all,” he said. Chavan said people have already started comparing the Congress rule, not just the UPA rule, where the “Ministers had certain respect and responsibility which seems to be missing”.
“There is also a question of favourites who are running this show in Delhi. Not very good for healthy democracy,” Chavan said. Asserting that he was not surprised by Modi’s “silence since assuming power”, Chavan said, “While he was campaigning, he always spoke loudly, criticised our leadership negatively. But his manifesto was completely downplayed, there was hardly any mention of what they will do in concrete terms, and that has come to the fore”.
He said that “unfortunately” Modi has not taken public position on so many important issues. “And on Twitter, we don’t know if the messages are sent by the person himself, or some bright official or party worker”. He claimed that there is scarcity of talent in BJP. “Look at the first cabinet… lot of people are overloaded with multiple ministries because obviously they do not have talent in Parliament. Whether they take talent from outsidethe parliament remains to be seen”.
Chavan questioned the Gujarat Model of economy saying that Maharashtra’s per capita income is much higher than that of Gujarat. He said that Maharashtra attracts highest FDI. “Not only economic parameters, look at the strength in IT world. Look at social side like fighting malnutrition. The world is praising Maharashtra for steps taken to fight malnutrition and even in schools, we have got more teachers per children than Gujarat,” he said. Chavan said that a lot was expected of the new government in New Delhi but not much has been delivered. “I hope the government in Delhi manages to deliver. India and Maharashtra are waiting,” he said.