Thereare similarities and differences of approach to governance between Mr Modi andthe Late Indira Gandhi, to whom he is sometimes compared.
Both strongpersonalities with an uncanny connect with the masses, Narendra Modi is perhapsmore in sync with the nitty gritty of day-to-day governance than any otherearlier prime minister. His direct connect with top bureaucrats gives him anadvantage that even his ministers rue in private.Modibrooks no dissent; in fact he loves and relishes the idea of total control inadministrative matters. Even in such matters as postings of top officials, hisministers have little say. Such a trait is often cited as his scant regard fordemocratic norms and traditions that the Congress charges him with.Mr Modi’s leadership style distinguishes itself for its flexibleapproach to issues.
He had launched his government in May 2014 with the focuson promoting development, creating jobs and eliminating black money. In thefirst two years, he had sensed that the development agenda would be a long-termgoal, job creation would be extremely difficult in the current economicscenario and the black money challenge would have to be met with some quickhigh-profile action. Not surprisingly, Mr Modi’s speeches no longer talk aboutjobs, the policy focus is on creating infrastructure with the target of manydevelopment goals being set at 2022, much after the next general elections, anda big-bang decision on demonetizing 86 per cent of the currency in the systemwas taken in the name of attacking black money. And when there were someinternal doubts if demonetization would indeed be able to tackle black money, anew objective of a move towards digitized payments was set.
This is quickthinking to change course if there are early signs of failure. The prime minister has understood the importance of communicationunlike most of his predecessors. But what he prefers is not a two-way exchangeof views but a one-way communication. Thus, there are no press conferences byModi where he could be asked questions. Instead, he prefers the social mediaplatforms to bombard the media with all that he wants to say or what thegovernment may have achieve.Allkey decisions are taken by him and him alone.
And he is the last word inrepackaging- notice how he stole the thunder from the UPA leaders on the GSTissue with even the IMF and the World Bank lauding the initiative even thoughGST was first mooted as a measure by the Congress.