Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar drew a parallel with the Ramayana Saturday to defend the cult within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) vis-a-vis its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
During a public interaction organised by a national television channel in Panaji, Parrikar said right from the times of the Ramayana, Indians have loved being led by individuals.
“Cult is not a new phenomenon for this country… You take it from Ramayana time. You will find (that) being led by one person was always liked by people,” Parrikar said, when asked why a cadre-based outfit like the BJP was succumbing to Modi’s personality cult.
“One person or a small number of people should lead. If there are 200 people leading a country, you will never get a solution. It is better to have one person… he can alone deal with it,” Parrikar said, backing Modi’s style of functioning.
The chief minister also said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s very obvious lack of decisiveness had resulted in erosion of people’s faith in leadership and that “if India today did not get a decisive leader, it may take to anarchy”.
Parrikar also rejected the argument that strong, decisive leadership could lead to the possibility of an “Emergency” like phase, adding that vibrant Indian democracy of today with 120 crore people would thwart such a prospect.
“Decisive does not mean dictator. A decisive leader consults people and takes a decision and then does not waver,” he said.
Parrikar also attributed Modi’s harsh outlook to his being constantly targeted by the opposition for 12 years following the 2002 riots.
“Modi has to be very tight in his approach mainly because opponents were continuously trying to attack him. If you are continuously being attacked, you will obviously go into offensive position. The way there have been attempts to destroy him throughout 12 years, anyone will take offensive position,” said Parrikar, known to be extreme close to Modi.
The chief minister who was the first BJP leader to formally demand Modi’s big ticket elevation at the BJP’s Goa national executive, said Modi’s assertive attitude was often misconstrued as “dictatorial”.
“There is a difference between assertive and dictatorial. As the area of his (Modi’s) operation increases, there will be more consultation and more proper decision making,” Parrikar said.
He also defended the Gujarat chief minister’s constant refusal to apologise for the 2002 riots, claiming “a person who is not responsible for an incident need not apologise”.