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Modi a man full of energy, Singh had ideas: Bhagwati

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Prime Minister Modi is a "a man full of energy" while his predecessor had "ideas", noted economist Jagdish Bhagwati said today.

"(Narendra) Modi is a man full of energy. He wants to do things and nobody can treat him as anything less than a leader and he now has the mandate," the renowned economist told

BJP-led swept the elections held in May last year with a strong mandate.

Singh, the architect of economic reforms in 1991, was protected by the then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao, but since it was a minority government there was a limit to the "pace" at which Singh could go as the then Finance Minister, Bhagwati said.

"When you compare the speeches of the two (Singh and Modi), temperamentally is like President ..He does have ideas, but because he can lead from behind, he can face blockages," he added.

Asked why he thinks Modi will open up multi-brand retail to FDI, Bhagwati said the traditional base of was small retailers, but now Modi has a "much wider constituency, so he does not have to depend on that core group".

On newly formed NITI Aayog that replaced Planning Commission, the Columbia University professor said what he liked about it is that "focus will be on policies and that is where the real action should be".

First Published: Thu, January 15 2015. 23:05 IST