'Modi's biggest success in 100 days is the transition from CM to PM'
Despite the ballyhoo going around about how Modi is a different prime minister than his predecessors, the debate still rages on between myth versus truth.
After nearly 15 years in Gandhinagar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's real challenge was to deliver in New Delhi and that too in his first 100 days in office. And now that the occasion has past, both admirers and critics view his tenure as Prime Minister so far very differently with some saying that his biggest achievement is the transition from leading a state to leading the country.
"After a long time we have a prime minister who is a people's person like Indira Gandhi. Even Atal Bihari Vajpayee was reserved as a prime minister. The biggest success that he had achieved in the first 100 days is his transition from a chief minister to prime minister," author and analyst Sanjaya Baru said on a discussion on NDTV.
"Ordinary people in the country had already accepted Manmohan Singh as a prime minister the moment his name was announced. But Modi had to establish himself as prime minister," he said.
The main reason for Modi coming under intense scrutiny in the first 100 days of taking charge is because of the high hopes he gave people during the course of his long and sustained campaign trail prior to Lok Sabha polls. And some like author and former corporate leader Gurcharan Das feel he has delivered.
"In 100 days you get a sense of the strengths and weaknesses of a leader. What I liked about Modi in his first 100 days as prime minister is the quiet implementation. We are a country of talkers and not doers. But in that case the prime minister has been debottlenecking projects worth Rs 4 lakh crore. There is a right positive spirit in the bureaucracy. The results will finally tell the tale," said the former CEO of P&G India said.
"There are 75 clearances that is needed in India to start an industry. Modi has been trying to digitize the whole process and make into a single-window system. The delivery of goals is in the hands of the bureaucracy. We are now on a secular path of growth," Das said, pointing to the distinct steps that are being taken by the new government at the Centre to scale down red tape.
But despite those who praise his tenure so far, there remain doubts over how much of it is hype.
"Modi is the product of an image making machinery which has made him a larger man than the real Modi himself. He had talked about sabka saath, sabka vikas. He also spoke a moratorium on divisive politics for 10 years. But have those promises transferred into reality? Why he can't he stop a vitriolic Yogi Adityanath from making those communally charged speeches. Please remember that the real Modi had won the polls in Uttar Pradesh through communal politics. The gap between the image and real is quite big," senior journalist Bharat Bhushan said.
The journalist also criticised Modi for keeping quiet on issues like the increasing instances of communal violence.
"What he needs to do is to interact on a platform where he can interact with the people. The legitimacy of his prime ministership will come only through communication. The right to question him has been denied as the communication is mostly one way through his speeches from a high pedestal or through press releases," Bhushan said.
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi firmly backed Bhushan.
"There is a indeed a lot of hoopla and hype but a complete gap between words and action. If I can refer to Bhushan's example, here is an orator who inflicts silence on the country when Adityanath spews the venom," Singhvi said.
However, the Congress leader had some praise for the prime minister as well.
"Modi does come across as a decisive person but the negative part of it is him being authoritarian," Singhvi said.
Representing the BJP on the panel, party spokesperson Sambit Patra felt that the biggest asset of the Modi government is the ability to win people's trust.
"The Modi government has generated a trust which the previous dispensation was deficient. If the GDP has gone up today it is because of the trust the investors have on this new government. Modi is not a person who has hidden behind his own image. The fact that Modi was the chief minister for nearly 15 years means that he was in communication with his people and they always wanted him back," Patra said.
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