New Delhi, Aug 29 IANS | 4 months ago

Prime Minister Narendra Modi keeps himself informed through multiple sources, and has fostered a lot of decentralization in the NDA government contrary to wide perception about him centralizing power, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Friday.

Releasing the books "Narendra Modi: The Game Changer" and "Being Modi" at a function here, Jaitley also said that Modi started talking to people directly after the "vilification campaign" against him in the media over 2002 Gujarat riots when he was the chief minister.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar was also present at the function.

Jaitley said Modi had decided to follow development agenda to "fight the propaganda battle" against him over 2002 riots and focused on his work without allowing himself to be distracted.

Relating an instance over media coverage of the riots, he said Modi had issued a statement appealing for peace, while the state government also issued a statement slamming any talk of revenge against innocent people.

However, instead of publishing the government's statements, a prominent newspaper published an interview in which Modi was quoted as talking of a reaction to every action, he said, noting Modi never gave an interview to the newspaper and after about 20 days, the daily published a small item stating that the interview was based on comments made to a TV channel.

Jaitley said the way Modi was "vilified", most Indian politicians would have collapsed.

"That is where he started talking to people directly over heads of the media. Therefore, the entire communication (strategy) followed (by him) till date is to communicate directly to people," he said.

He said as chief minister, Modi came late for cabinet meetings and a senior minister took views of other colleagues, but his practice as prime minister now was to have a freewheeling discussion after the final items on the agenda were over.

"Contrary to what a lot of people feel, (there is) a lot of decentralized authority to ministers coupled with a lot of accountability," he said.

Jaitley also said that Modi "keeps himself informed through multiple sources" including feedback from the grassroots.

He said Modi has remained a virtual outsider "to Delhi system" and has "his own style of working".

Javadekar said that Modi's strength was to "convert every adversity into an opportunity".

"Narendra Modi: The Game Changer" has been written by Sudesh Verma and "Being Modi" by Paavani Sinha and Nikita Parmar. The books have been published by Vitasta.

(Posted on 30-08-2014)

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