New Delhi: How much 'difference' did Prime Minister Narendra Modi make to 'governance' debates in India. Who could unleash the details of this better other than Modi's longtime compatriot, Amit Shah?
Mr Shah, the country's Home Minister and who has seen the PM from close range for years now, said the BJP chose Mr Modi as a prime ministerial candidate in September 2013 when the country was facing a 'leadership crisis'.
"Terms like good governance, change, reforms, or economic development would not resolve the problems faced by the country. It's not just administration… the leader has to handle development, preserve and take forward the culture of the country, ensure security — all these can be done only by a leader who is backed by people," said the Home Minister on Wednesday (October 27).
Mr Shah inaugurated the three-day 'unique' national conference on 'Delivering Democracy: Review of two decades of Narendra Modi as head of Two Governments'. Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini (RMP) of Mumbai had organised the event in coordination with the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR).
"Only those who come with on-ground experience and sense the pain of the poor only can change it," said Mr Shah.
Making these observations, the Home Minister also sounded caustic about the performance of the Manmohan Singh government. Even the much cherished 'Kalyan Rajya (welfare state) and concept of Ram Rajya had practically collapsed by 2014, pointed out Shah.
Mr Modi's tenure in the office first as Gujarat chief minister for 13 years and now Prime Minister since 2014 May are important 'milestones' in the country's democratic process, said BJP MP Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe.
There will be sessions on Modi economic policy 'Modinomics' and also foreign policies, new education policy, PM's philosophy of Garib Kalyan and how the poor have benefited from the various schemes during the conference.
BJP national president J P Nadda will address the valedictory session on October 29.
In his address, Mr Shah also said: "In 2014, there was a big question in the minds of people on whether the multi-party system would be successful in protecting the democratic system".
But "after they saw that the nation witnessed withering of governance", failure in protecting the nation and when corruption and scandals had become routine affairs in the government (under Congress-led UPA), people had decided to repose faith in the BJP and on the leadership of Narendra Modi.
Mr Shah also said Modi has been India's most successful Prime Minister since Independence, who has given a human angle to the economic barometer of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
"Even though Narendra Modi ji considers himself as a pradhan sevak, this is his belief… But I can say that if there is any successful (safal se safal) Prime Minister; it is our Shri Narendra Modi ji," the Home Minister said.
He also said there were power tussles before the 2014 general elections and intra-power battles within Congress and ministers. "Every cabinet minister (under UPA) took themselves as Prime Minister(s) and the country's security was at stake…There was policy paralysis and country's prestige was at its low ebb overseas".
The organisers, RMP, have said that while Modi's extraordinary oratory skills, relationship building, ability to pay attention to small details and nuances make him a unique leader, "what sets him apart is his ability to deliver on the commitments he makes to the citizens".
"During the last two years, the way Prime Minister Modi has managed the pandemic in India is a case study on effective governance," the RMP stated.
Among others, some senior and ex-bureaucrats who have worked closely with the Prime Minister are also attending the conference.