Former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Thursday said there is a tendency in India to worship people in power and asserted that Narendra Modi is seen as a "charismatic leader" because he is the prime minister.
He was speaking at a book launch event in Delhi.
"There is a 'national' weakness in us that we start worshipping people in power. We need to get rid of this," Mr Sinha said.
Replying to a question on PM Modi's leadership and four years of his government, the former Union minister said he (Modi) was in power so he appeared charismatic.
"Today Modi is seen as a charismatic leader because he is the Prime Minister, he will not be charismatic when he will not be in power, that is how people look at it..," Mr Sinha said.
Recalling his old association with PM Modi, the former BJP leader said he had seen a "humble" PM Modi. But he (Modi) has now risen rapidly, Mr Sinha said.
Without naming anyone, the former finance minister added that some of the charismatic leaders were in jail on Thursday.
Mr Sinha had handled the crucial finance and external affairs ministries during the previous BJP-led NDA government.
He had left the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) recently and has been critical of the Modi government on various issues, including demonetisation and the Rafale deal.