‘Modi Insular, Distrustful, Rules with a Small Group of Advisors’
Whistle-blower Julian Assange-founded website Wikileaks, yesterday, in a series of tweets repudiated BJP’s campaign that showed Assange endorsing Modi as an ‘incorruptible’ leader. Here’s what they tweeted:
BJP, however, downplayed the WikiLeaks tweet.”We don’t need a certificate from Wikileaks or Assange on Modiji,” BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.
Later in the day, Wikileaks also named BJP’s Priti Gandhi for spreading the fake endorsement for Modi.
Here’s the fake endorsement tweet:
Wikileaks also released a cable involving Michael S. Owen,Consul General, Mumbai, meeting Modi in 2006, first since the March 2005 revocation of Modi’s U.S. visa because of his alleged role in the 2002 communal violence in Gujarat.
When asked about Gujarat government’s role in the communal violence of 2002, the cable claims that Modi was visibly annoyed and replied the following:
a. the events of 2002 were an internal Gujarati matter and the U.S. had no right to interfere;
b. the U.S. is itself guilty of horrific human rights violations (he specified Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and attacks on Sikhs in the U.S. after September 11) and thus has no moral basis to speak on such matters, and;
c. Muslims are demonstrably better off in Gujarat than in any other state in India, so what is everybody griping about?
The cable also talks about Owen’s meet with former Congress party MP and former Minister of Environment Yuraj Digvijay Sinhji.
Excerpts from the cable:
Asked whether Modi could become a national leader, Sinhji (himself the scion of the princely Wankaner family and a Cambridge grad) sniffed that Modi “lacks the polish and refinement” to become a national leader.
But Sinhji raised another reason why Modi could face challenges in becoming a national leader: Modi’s reputation for being completely incorruptible is accurate, and if he were to become a national leader he would crack down on corruption throughout the BJP. There are too many BJP rank and file waiting to line their pockets once the BJP returns to power, Sinhji said, and the prospect of Modi cracking the whip on corruption is entirely unappealing to this crowd. Modi would have a hard time clearing this hurdle, according to Sinhji.
In a seperate cable, Wikileaks had said that Owen saw Modi as “an insular, distrustful person who rules with a small group of advisors.” The cable talks about Owen’s views on Modi’s national ambition, administration capabilities, business and his ideology.
Excerpts from the cable:
Views remain divided on whether Modi’s leadership style will help or harm him if he enters national politics. In public appearances, Modi can be charming and likeable.
By all accounts, however, he is an insular,distrustful person who rules with a small group of advisors. This inner circle acts as a buffer between the Chief Minister and his cabinet and party. He reigns more by fear and intimidation than by inclusiveness and consensus, and is rude, condescending and often derogatory to even high level party officials. He hoards power and often leaves his ministers in the cold when making decisions that affect their portfolios. His abrasive leadership style alienated much of the state BJP leadership in 2005. He was able to quell their subsequent rebellion by branding them as corrupt opportunists who were angry because he denied them the tools of political patronage and corruption (ref C).