Admirer turned critic of Narendra Modi talks of lack of direction and says people miss Manmohan Singh govt
GN Bureau | October 27, 2015
Stop picking a new fight every day and to run the country you need to take people along. These are the words of advice for prime minister Narendra Modi by BJP leader Arun Shourie, who was once an admirer of Modi. Shourie said the government should embrace everybody instead of fighting. “Don't get into fight with everyone. If you want to build Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, you require support of 5 Chief Ministers," he said.
Launched a scathing attack on Modi's government, Shourie said that its "lack of direction is making people miss Dr Manmohan Singh", referring to the former Prime Minister.
"People have started recalling the days of Manmohan Singh.... The way to characterise policies of the government is -- Congress plus a cow. Policies are the same," Shourie said the function to launch 'Turn of The Tortoise', a book written by former Business Standard editor-in-chief TN Ninan. "People say, at least Dr Singh was wise," said Shourie. Manmohan Singh was in the audience when these comments were made.
"The policies (between the NDA and UPA) are the same," said Shourie. "The difference really is that there is a firmer, clearer belief that managing the economy means managing the headlines of the economy, and this is not really going to work."
It is a common perception that the PMO is considered to be very efficient and the most powerful office. However, the senior BJP leader feels the other way. He said, “I feel there was never a weaker a PMO as now". He said "there has never been as great a centralisation of functions, not power, of functions in PMO as now. ...If fellows don't have domain expertise, that Brajesh Mishra had, LK Jha had, all these principal secretaries had, then things get stuck."
Shourie noted that Parliament has become alibi for not doing anything.
"If you see impediments that were there in tax administration, virtually no change... Banking reform has been delayed by year and a half for no reason. So therefore this tortoise is very generous metaphor. Ye to so hi jata hai (this tortoise goes to sleep)."
"The industrialists who meet the Prime Minister don't speak whole truth. After meeting PM, they wonder what is happening and say 'please do something'. And in front of media they give the government 9 out of 10," Shourie claimed.
Former foreign secretary Shyam Sharan, who was one of the panelists, also criticised the government on the foreign policy front saying there was no concrete results in terms of actual implementation.
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