Is PM Modi Autocratic? Amit Shah's Response To Critics

The praise for PM Narendra Modi comes from his closest associate in an interview to a government TV channel.

Amit Shah also defended PM Modi over the farmers' protest.

New Delhi:

Union Home Minister Amit Shah strongly defended Prime Minister Narendra Modi from a suggestion that he was at times dictatorial or autocratic, saying that in his decades-long association, he had "not seen a listener like Modi ji".

"All these people who are accusing us, these accusations are baseless. I have not seen a listener like Modi ji. If there is a meeting for any problem, Modi ji talks less and patiently listens to everyone and then takes a decision. We often think 'what is there to think so much?'. He takes a decision patiently after 2-3 meetings," he said in response to a question during an interview to the state-run Sansad TV channel.

"Every person's suggestion based on its quality is given importance by Modi ji and not based on who the person is. So, saying that he imposes his decisions as PM is not true at all. Whoever has worked with him, even the critics would agree that the cabinet has never functioned in such a democratic manner," he said.

Both from Gujarat, PM Modi and Amit Shah have worked closely since their early days in the BJP and its ideological parent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS. Considered to be the Prime Minister's closest confidante and strategist, Amit Shah has held executive portfolios in the Gujarat government when PM Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.

Amit Shah also defended PM Modi over the farmers' protest, saying their concerns about the laws introduced last year were unfounded and that the BJP government had taken great steps to help the growers.

"In total, 11 crore farmers are getting Rs 6,000 annually. Rs 1.5 lakh crore have been given to the farmers within a year. Sometime back, the UPA government forgave a loan of Rs 60,000 crore. Rs 60,000 crore came back to the bank but farmers didn't get anything. This funding of Rs 1.5 lakh crore is straightaway going to the farmers, and no bank loan is involved. Properties of 1.5-2 acres on average available for agriculture, the harvest money for this land comes up to Rs 6,000. Hence, no loans are taken by farmers," he said.