Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has remarked that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a “very good communicator, much better than me” and also that he liked the concept of ‘Make in India’ and Swachh Bharat’.
“I am an opposition leader. But Mr. Modi is also my Prime Minister..He (Modi) has certain skills..He is a very good communicator..probably much better than me.
“He understands how to give a message to three or four different groups in a crowd. So, his messaging ability is very subtle and effective,” Gandhi said during an interactive session at the University of California in Berkeley.
“What I sense..and this is something that actually would be very good if it happens…He (Modi) doesn’t converse with the people he works with..Even members of parliament of the BJP come to me and tell me..that you know ..sunte nahi hai (he doesn’t listen),” said Gandhi when asked about the good things about Modi.
“One thing that I think would be good is if he would speak to the people who works with him..There’s lot of information that the opposition has, but he is really not interested in that input,” he added.
Asked about the good things the Modi government has done, Gandhi said: “On what they have done well..what I like..I like the concept of Make in India, but the orientation of Make in India is slightly different than what I would do…
“The orientation of Make in India is big business and lot of it is defence..My orientation of Make in India would be small and medium businesses,” said Gandhi.
“See..big businesses in India already have a lot of play. So, my thing would be to carve out a space for small and medium businesses and bring in experts like you from Silicon Valley. Also, think about taking these small and medium businesses and transform them into global companies,” he added.
“So, I do agree with the idea of Make in India..I like it..orientation is slightly different,” he added.
Gandhi further said: “Swachh Bharat is something that Mr. Modi likes, the idea of hygiene. I think it’s a good one. I don’t think it’s a bad one. I think this sort of stuff they are doing…open defecation and stuff..that’s not a bad thing,” said Gandhi.
He also said: “On foreign policy, our basic design was to have relationships with people around us. So, we of course have a solid relationship with the US..that’s only going to get better. And we accept that India and the US are going to get closer.
“But, we had a relationship with Russia..we had a certain relationship with Iran..So, that balance..for example Russia today is selling arms to Pakistan.. it’s not in our interest..They have never done it before. There are reports that Russians are dealing with the Taliban..Unimaginable, 10-15 years ago,” Gandhi remarked.
“Whereas, I completely agree with their positioning as far as the US is concerned. I think they are making India vulnerable because if you look at Nepal, the Chinese are in there..Burma, the Chinese are there..Sri Lanka, the Chinese are there and in Maldives too..
“In a lot of these places, these are tactical mistakes..Nepal was a tactical mistake.you know the blockade..you basically lost Nepal because you made a tactical mistake,” Gandhi added.
He also said: “My agreement in the basic direction..I agree..friendship with US, close bond with US, but don’t isolate India because its gets dangerous.”