In a castigating Karan Thapar interview with Shourie, the former union minister and a notable BJP detractor now - Arun Shourie strike out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi arraigning him of “narcissism” and of running a one-man “Presidential government”, without any checks and balances, also terming it “dangerous” for the country.
The Editor-turned-politician, Mr Shourie, was a Cabinet minister in the Vajpayee government who has ambled away from the BJP in recent years said that the direction of the government under his administration “is not good for India”.
In a 40-minute interview to Karan Thapar for India Today TV’s “To The Point” programme, he scrutinized the two years of Prime Minister Modi government and warned that over the next three years he expected “a more systematic attempt to curb civil liberties” and an increase in “decentralised intimidation” besides “choking” of “inconvenient voices”.
Bracketing Prime Minister Modi with leaders such as the former Indian PM Late Mrs. Indira Gandhi and the current Tamilnadu CM Jayalalithaa, Mr Shourie accused the prime minister of satiating in narcissism, which he characterized as both “self-love to an exaggerated extent and insecurity”, and Machiavellism, which meant that he “exploits events to his benefit”.
The former minister also said that the prime minister’s “attitude to people is to use and throw them”. He treats people “like paper napkins” and was “remorseless”, he alleged. Asked about an impression it was hurt pride and anger at not becoming finance minister that made him attack Prime Minister Modi, Shourie said “anybody who thinks like that thinks poorly of him. Let them think like that.”
Certainly, the former disinvestment minister (and a few other portfolios at different points of time) in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee regime was too critical on PM Modi. However, he refrained calling him communal. He has been one time admirer of Narendra Modi, and was among the first to have spoken for a change in BJP leadership and need of bringing the new blood, way back post the 2009 lok sabha election debacle. His one line sums it up well of what he said and why did he said – “One of the problems was that the Prime Minister was getting inputs from very few people”.