Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Prominent Modi ally Madhu Kishwar praises Sonia style to say how Prime Minister has "cocooned" himself

By Our Representative
Well-known feminist-turned-Narendra Modi protege Madhu Kishwar has sharply attacked the Prime Minister's "use and throw attitude", saying this is the main reason why most of his well wishers are "sulking." Insisting that the BJP high command "better understand" this, Kishwar, who has been in limelight for criticizing Union human resource development minister Smriti Irani, warns, "The kind of social media warriors that had once flocked to Modi can’t be hired for money."
Especially coming down heavily on those around the Prime Minister, Kishwar, who has been summarily ignored after Modi came to power, says, "Even BJP stalwarts who are not part of the government are complaining about the 'arrogance' and 'inaccessibility' of Team Modi. She adds, "The rank and file of BJP is highly disgruntled and feel their leaders have become too smug and arrogant and they don’t get a hearing even on legitimate issues."
Particularly critizing Modi for the way in which he has "decided to cocoon himself", Kishwar, in an article in a right-wing site, http://swarajyamag.com, titled "Aspiration to Impatience", has surprisingly praised Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's style, suggesting how she "built a power base for herself starting from total scepticism about her suitability for the top job".
"One of the first things she did after UPA’s assumption of power in 2004 was to co-opt several high profile do-gooders as her personal courtiers by creating a high powered National Advisory Council", Kishwar says, adding, "With this one stroke, she managed to tie most of the NGO leaders as well as left-leaning academics and intellectuals to her apron strings."
All this led to a situation where she even managed to rope in even "the likes of Amartya Sen as advisors and in turn a large body of intellectuals became willing courtiers", Kishwar says, adding, "They became intoxicated by their proximity to the UPA High Command and felt they had high stakes in this government."
"They also helped create a halo for Sonia Gandhi as someone who was pro-poor, pro-minorities, pro-all good causes. Even though the Congress ran a scam-ridden government, the leftist NGOs and intellectuals remained Sonia’s firm allies", she underlines.
By contrast, Kishwar says, "far from creating new allies, Modi has studiously distanced himself from old allies like Arun Shourie, the Jethmalanis and numerous others who stood by him." Wondering "who he has surrounded himself with?", she says, "Nameless, faceless bureaucrats and a couple of political favourites who are themselves lightweights."
"The Prime Minister is seen on TV either touring abroad or receiving foreign heads of state, corporate honchos, or meeting socialites and film stars", Kishwar regrets, adding, "In the last several months, one has never once seen him interacting with ordinary citizens. He only addresses them when he goes electioneering."
Calling it "a one-way communication which doesn’t allow for the kind of rapport he once had with party workers and non-BJP volunteers", Kishwar says, "For instance, when Modi launched his Swachh Bharat campaign with much fanfare, he announced famous cricket stars, corporate leaders, Bollywood and TV actors and other celebrities as brand ambassadors", even as neglecting "BJP municipal councilors and party cadres."
Pointing to how all this led to the defeat of the BJP in the Delhi elections, Kishwar says, "The PM had announced with much aplomb that he would be accessible and that people should send him their inputs for improving governance. But many who have taken that invitation seriously tell me that they never even get an acknowledgement, leave alone any serious follow up."
In fact, Kishwar -- who makes her critical remarks on a large number of issues ranging from "inadequate" responose to agrarian crisis, the land acquisition Bill "stalemate", "neglect" of administrative Reforms, to BJP’s "humiliating defeat in Delhi -- says, "Letters to the PM by eminent citizens or requests for appointment are also not answered".

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