190823 Jairam Ramesh
Jairam Ramesh Image Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s governance model is not a “complete negative story” and not recognising his work and demonising him all the time is not going to help, said Congress leader Jairam Ramesh.

It is time we recognise Modi’s work and what he did between 2014 and 2019 due to which he was voted back to power by over “30 per cent of the electorate”, said Ramesh on Wednesday.

Ramesh made the remarks while launching a book, ‘Malevolent Republic: A Short History of the New India’ written by Kapil Satish Komireddi, a political analyst.

“He [Modi] talks in a language that connects him with the people. Unless we recognise that he is doing things which people recognise and which have not been done in the past, we are not going to be able to confront this guy,” said the Congress leader.

“Also, if you are going to demonise him all the time, you are not going to be able to confront him,” warned the former federal minister in the Manmohan Singh government.

To prove his point, Ramesh gave example of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUJ) and how successful it turned out for him.

“In 2019, all of us in the political discourse made fun of one or two of his programmes, but it has turned out in all electoral studies that the PMUJ is one single program which has been able to connect him with crores and crores of women and given him the political traction which he didn’t have in 2014,” said the Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka.

“Now if we are going to run this down and say this is all hocus-pocus and say these are wrong numbers, we are not going to confront this guy,” he cautioned.

His party colleague and senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said on Friday that “demonising Prime Minister Narendra Modi is wrong” and that acts should be judged “issue-wise, and not person-wise”.

“Always said demonising Modi wrong. Not only is he PM of nation, a one way opposition actually helps him. Acts are always good, bad and indifferent — they must be judged issue wise and not person wise. Certainly, Ujjawala scheme is only one amongst other good deeds. #Jairamramesh,” Singhvi said in a tweet.

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor also has backed Jairam Ramesh and Abhishek Manu Singhvi’s argument that “demonising Prime Minister Narendra Modi is wrong”.

“I have argued for six years now that Narendra Modi should be praised whenever he says or does the right thing, which would add credibility to our criticisms whenever he errs. I welcome others in opposition coming around to a view for which I was excoriated at the time,” Tharoor said in a tweet.

Speaking at a book launch on Thursday, Ramesh said it was “time we recognise Prime Minister Modi’s work and what he did between 2014 and 2019 due to which he was voted back to power by over 30 per cent of the electorate.”

The Congress leaders’ remarks on Modi come after the party witnessed a difference of opinions recently, when many leaders went against the party line to support the Central government’s decision to abrogate Article 370 and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.