Kolkata: Coming down heavily on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor Saturday said there was a gulf between NDA government's speeches and performance and "tremendous consolidation" of power in the hands of one man.
"There seems to be a gulf between action and implementation... between the lines in the speeches and performance," Tharoor said.
The Thiruvananthapuram MP said though Modi had given sound bytes like" maximum governance, minimum government" during the Lok Sabha polls campaign, "we are actually seeing tremendous consolidation of power in the hands of one person... it is sort of a one man rule".
Tharoor alleged that ministers were being bypassed with the prime minister directly working through secretaries. "The lean and mean cabinet (has been) expanded... no real concrete evidence of minimum governance... it is maximum governance in the hands of one man."
He said another Bharatiya Janata Party election slogan talked of the government having no business to be in business.
"Which government businesses are being dismantled? If Modi genuinely believes that then why is the government running airlines, hotels?" he asked.
Tharoor, who was one of the main speakers at the Leadership Keynotes seminar "Driving Excellence through Creativity" at the INFOCOMA2014, also accused the government of giving sound bytes for the sake of "giving sound bytes".
"There is no apparent connection between the nice sounding soundbytes and the policy actions that should follow to fulfil those sound bytes. If this continues happening then we will develop a little bit of skepticism," he quipped.
He also questioned PM's "silences" on the string of incidences against the Muslim community, and urged him to refrain from sending out wrong signals to the country.
"Sometimes even silences can hurt. There were these string of incidences against the Muslim community from the Pune techie being killed to Shiv Sena legislator attacking a Muslim during his Ramzan fast and shoving food down his mouth and half a dozen other incidents," Tharoor said.
"One simple statement from the PM could have sent such a signal of reassurance, instead he doesn't even go to Eid parties, doesn't host or attend Iftar parties. That sends the opposite signal. I urge Modi to live up to his own words and not send such a signal to the nation," Tharoor said.
Attacking Modi's ignorance of the Muslim community, the former union minister called for inclusivity on the part of the Modi government.
"Leading the country is truly showing inclusiveness. It is also about not avoiding certain issues and challenges," he said.
Clarifying his stance on supporting Modi's Swacch Bharat campaign, the Thiruvananthapuram MP stressed the government needs to "show real financial muscle and political will" behind the slogan and come up with sustainable long-term plans.
"I can't merely accept things at face value. I admire the right things being said by Modi. They are very positive signals but signals alone are not enough," he quipped.
(With IANS Inputs)