Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s track record of governance is envy of any politician in India or abroad. India has seen a number of CMs and PMs in the past. But there is no match for the one-and-only warrior: Narendra Damodardas Modi.
Since he took over as the Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001, the BJP has not lost an election in the state till now. After leaving Gujarat and becoming the Prime Minister in 2014, Modi has led the BJP to victory in back-to-back Lok Sabha elections with increasing vote-share.
Moreover, under his leadership, the BJP has not only consolidated its power in the states it held, but extended it to parts of India where it practically did not exist.
The secret of his success is good governance. It is not often that political leaders of our country discuss governance. But Modi made it a point to raise the issue at his every meeting with the leaders of the political establishment and civil servants at all levels—from top to bottom.
Prior to his recent interactions with the Uttar Pradesh Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister had addressed a conference of chief ministers of the BJP-ruled states in Varanasi last December.
At the conference, CMs of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand made presentations on “good governance” of their respective states. The Prime Minister reviewed their work and offered his suggestions on how to improve their working and asked them to ensure that the benefits of the Government schemes reached the last man in the line.
It may be mentioned that governance has been Modi’s constant refrain ever since he became Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001. One of his major slogans and mottoes in the run-up to the 2014 general election was ‘Maximum Governance, Minimum Government.’
In April 2019, he explained the slogan during an interview to a news channel: “Earlier my Cabinet note would take six months to reach the entire Cabinet. But now it takes only 15 days. This is what minimum government and maximum governance is.”
The use of technology to speed up inter-ministerial and inter-government was only one element of his model of good government. He also used technology to speed up the delivery of services and benefits of the Government to the beneficiaries through direct digital transfers.
Fast-tracking the process of clearances is another element of good government. It enabled the Modi Government to clear projects pending for 30 to 40 years within hours. Modi also believes in economic reforms. He thinks it’s not the Government’s business to carry on business. The privatisation of Air India and the launch of the LIC IPO are the latest examples of how the Government fast-tracked the process of disinvestment.
Modi’s success story has led political scientists to coin a new phrase for the manner in which India is governed under him: the Modi Model of Development.
The fact is that the Modi model is different from the traditional models developed by public administration experts. It’s based on the chemistry of human relations instead of cold mathematical calculations.
‘Though I’m miles away from you, I can feel your problems and difficulties,’ has been his guiding philosophy of the man who rose from the masses to reach the top positions in India political landscape by serving the nation for the last 21 years.
The Modi model of governance is not a steal-framework of rules and regulations. The Prime Minister has often said that there should be flexibility in Government schemes. “Each state in India is a separate social and geographical unit. Therefore, we cannot implement the same rules and norms across all states. We must always think of what is the best for the people”.