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Strong mind is PM Narendra Modi's strength, says Jaitley

The Finance Minister observes that the PM is also a 'strict disciplinarian' for himself and has a strong self-belief

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Arun Jaitley

Narendra Modi's real strength is his strong mind like that of great sportspersons, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today, explaining how the Prime Minister has overcome odds to reach the top.

Jaitley, who has watched Modi closely since their days as BJP spokespersons over 15 years ago, observed that he is also a "strict disciplinarian" for himself and has a strong self-belief.

These qualities, because of which he carries forward his agenda of development despite contrarian views, make him virtually unmatched in the political arena, he said.

"While in government, needless to say, he is extremely hardworking himself and he is activity-oriented. So he has a clarity on what every department in government is supposed to do," Jaitley, who also holds the portfolio of Information and Broadcasting, said in an interaction with PTI at its headquarters here.

Talking about Modi's evolution, he said the factors that seem to be contributing are that he is very sharp, a great learner and has an ability to adjust to be an international leader.

"He is a great learner, so he evolved. And now that he is having an opportunity to make an impact in diplomacy, you can see him gradually evolve literally within months from a Chief Minister to a Prime Minister to a powerful international leader...

"I don't think there are many others in the political arena who could have done it so fast," Jaitley said.

While talking about Modi's focussed determination, he said, "I think the real strength was visible when he went to Gujarat... I think that was the real test of feasibility."

He said Modi governed the state by focussing on the agenda of development rather than being "blown out" by "contrarian views", an apparent reference to the legal and media scrutiny the former Gujarat Chief Minister faced over the 2002 riots.

First Published: Sun, November 23 2014. 13:06 IST