New Delhi: Hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “24-carat gold”, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said he is perhaps the only leader after Mahatma Gandhi with deep understanding of Indian society and its psychology.
Singh, a former BJP president, said Modi’s political journey of last two decades as head of government should be taught in management schools as a case study on “effective leadership and efficient governance”.
Speaking at length about the last two decades of Modi’s political journey, Singh said, “A true leadership is identified by its intent and integrity and in both cases, Modiji is 24-carat gold. There is not a single stain of corruption on him even after being the head of a government for 20 years.”
He was speaking at the valedictory session of a national conference on ‘Delivering Democracy: Reviewing 2 Decades of Narendra Modi as Head of Govt’.
Singh said Modi is not merely a person, but an idea, a thought.
“If we look at his political journey of the last two decades, we will find that new challenges kept coming before him. But the way he faced those challenges should be taught in management schools as a case study on effective leadership and efficient governance,” the defence minister said.
Singh said the way Modi overcame challenges, it shows his deep understanding of Indian society. “He is perhaps the only leader after Mahatma Gandhi with deep understanding of Indian society and its psychology.”
Referring to the systematic changes that the Modi government is trying to bring in, Singh said the government has changed many times in this country, “but for the first time efforts are being to made change the system. You can find loopholes in this effort but Modiji’s intent cannot be disbelieved.”
Touching upon the government’s agenda of a self-reliant India, the defence minister said hundred years ago Mahatma Gandhi spoke about ‘Swadeshi’ and after him, Deendayal Upadhyaya spoke about it.
“Now Modiji has brought Swadeshi 4.0 with new context and subtext. This is not a campaign against anyone but a positive effort to strengthen local products and brands,” Singh said.
Talking about Modi’s tenure as Gujarat chief minister, Singh said he took the state on the path of holistic development and worked for the progress of every section of the society.
The defence minister said Modi gave the mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ and then as prime minister added ‘Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas’ to it.
“Yeh nara ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ dete huiyae Narendra bhai Modi ne Gujarat mein panth nirpekshta ki ek nai ibarat likh di (By giving this slogan of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’, Narendra Bhai Modi in Gujarat wrote a new chapter of unbiasedness towards any religion),” Singh said, adding secularism does not mean unbiasedness towards any religion.
Singh also cited various reforms and schemes started by Modi as Gujarat chief minister.
Stating that there is no difference between Modi’s words and deeds, the defence minister said he accepted the crisis of credibility in Indian politics as a challenge and overcame it.
Discussing Modi’s commitment to development, Singh said for a long time, promotion of trade, industry and business was avoided in this country.
“It was believed that if you stand with business and industry then your social commitment is weak. Modiji gave a tough challenge to this misconception. He recognised and respected industry and entrepreneurs in nation building, supported and promoted them also,” Singh said.
Singh shared details of his long association with Modi when they were chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat respectively, and said Modi’s amazing decision-making ability and imaginative power impressed him the most.
Modi served as chief minister of Gujarat from 2001 till his election as prime minister in 2014.