Narendra Modi is running "the most centralised" government ever in India's history, marginalising his Cabinet, BJP and MPs, former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh has charged.
Ramesh, a senior Congress leader, also expressed his fear that the country may be moving towards becoming a "illiberal democracy" under Modi's leadership. "The style of government is one-man government. It's a very autocratic, authoritarian form of government where only Mr. Modi counts...," Ramesh told PTI here in an interview.
He said in the 10 months of the NDA rule, the way Lok Sabha has been conducted was "almost dictatorial" in nature.
"For me, the biggest danger that the last one year represents is India could be on the road to becoming an illiberal democracy. We were a liberal democracy but we are on the road to becoming illiberal democracy because we have a very authoritarian figure as Prime Minister who does not believe in consensus, who does not believe in taking people along and who says 'either my way or highway'," he said.
He claimed there is a lot of disenchantment among people both with the style and substance of Modi's functioning.
"He is running the most centralised government ever in India's history; he is running a one-man government; he has marginalised his Cabinet; he has marginalised his party, his MPs and so far he only has done repackaging and given political content to UPA programmes. People are beginning to ask questions," he claimed.
Asked if Modi's "this attitude" would be his undoing, Ramesh said, "It will be. I think it's going to be one of the most crucial undoings. His slogan was 'maximum governance, minimum government', and he has turned that into 'maximum arrogance, minimum government', and he has defined minimum government as one-man government. No Cabinet, no senior minister counts, no body counts. He is the guy who decides."
He also sought to draw similarities between Modi and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao when asked about his assessment of the performance of the TRS government.
"Dreams are being sold by Modi in Delhi; dreams are being sold by KCR in Hyderabad. So, the dream-selling unites the two. Authoritarianism also unites the two. Modi is as authoritarian as KCR. The way dissent is muzzled in Telangana is exactly the way dissent is muzzled by Modi. Making tall claims, false promises unite the two," Ramesh added.