NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has recently found himself in the news for all the wrong reasons. A portion of a recent video interaction where Kant had been a speaker has now gone viral, with netizens lambasing the official for his comments. India, Kant had opined, was "too much of a democracy" for tough reforms to be enacted. As a PTI article put it, Kant had noted that for the first time that the Centre has carried out hard reforms across sectors, including mining, coal, labour, agriculture, and the next wave of reforms must be pushed by the states.
The debate began when news reports quoted the comment about their being "too much" democracy and Kant attempted to clarify. "This is definitely not what I said. I was speaking about MEIS scheme and resources being spread thin and need for creating global champions in manufacturing sector," he explained.
Netizens however were not convinced, and many shared the clip from the event to underscore that the Niti Aayog Chief had indeed said this. The remark had prompted criticism from across party lines, with NCP leader Supriya Sule and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy among those rebuking the official.
Now, Kant has made a further attempt to explain his comments, via a lengthy editorial in The Indian Express. He contends that what he had said it "poles apart" from the comments ascribed to him.
"My statement, with relevant portions, is that India is too much of a democracy to mirror a China model. How this has been misconstrued to mean we have 'too much democracy' is both myopic and idiosyncratic. Mostly, it is a groundless twisting of a factual statement to make it palatable to partisan misinterpretation," he wrote.