Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Sunday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is one of the most democratic leaders he knows. Amit Shah was responding to a question about PM Modi’s perception as a “dictator” during an interview with public broadcaster Sansad TV.
“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 issue a meeting may be about, Modi ji speaks as little as required and listens to everyone patiently. He 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,” said Amit Shah.
As PM Modi completes 20 years in public service, Shah hailed his style of governance and panned the Opposition for trying to tarnish the head of government’s image with baseless allegations.
“Modi ji runs the Cabinet in a most democratic manner. What is discussed in a forum cannot be leaked to the public domain, so there is a wrong perception that he makes all decisions but that is not so. He discusses the matter, listens to everyone, and evaluates the pros and cons. The final decision rests with him, of course, because he is the prime minister,” explained Shah.
“It is unfortunate that those with diverging political views are trying to twist the truth to taint the PM’s image,” he added.
In the years since the BJP came to power at the Centre under Narendra Modi, several Opposition leaders have dubbed the prime minister a dictator over executive decisions on a whole host of issues, from demonetization, abrogation of Article 370, to the farmers’ protests.
Shah clarified that while PM Modi does take some risks, he does not impose his will while making important decisions related to policy and governance.
“PM Modi works with the aim of ‘India First’. He has said many times in the past that we have come to power to change the country, and not just to run a government. Sabka sath, sabka vikas, sabka vishvas is our goal,” the Union minister stated.
In a swipe at the Congress and Samajwadi Party, Shah alleged that some parties had adopted the ideology of nepotism and consider it their birthright to rule the country. PM Modi came along and altered this style of politics, which led to attacks on his character by rival parties, he claimed.
“Criticize 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 PM Modi brings down the level of political discourse,” said Shah.