In a strong attack, former union minister Arun Shourie on Friday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing him of “narcissism” and of running a one-man “Presidential government” the direction of which was “dangerous” for India.
Shourie, a Cabinet minister in the Vajpayee government who has drifted away from BJP in recent years, called the Modi government “a Presidential government without checks and balances” and said that the direction of the government under his supervision “is not good for India”.
In a 40-minute interview to Karan Thapar for India Today TV’s “To The Point” programme, he analysed the two years of 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 Modi with leaders like Indira Gandhi and Jayalalithaa, Shourie accused the prime minister of indulging in narcissism, which he described as both “self-love to an exaggerated extent and insecurity”, and Machiavellism, which meant that he “exploits events to his benefit”, according to a press release issued by the channel.
The former minister, who has criticised Modi in the past 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 Modi, Shourie said “anybody who thinks like that thinks poorly of him. Let them think like that.”