When Narendra Modi swept into power in May 2014, there were concerns over how the prime minister would run his government. After all, as the chief minister of Gujarat, Modi—a self-professed “taskmaster“—centralised his administration and ran a tight ship.
After two years in office, mixed notions persist on Modi’s iron-handed control over the decision-making process at the highest level of government.
But to his ministers, Modi is the prefect boss.
“There is a wrong impression that he bulldozes (his ministers). Instead, he is highly supportive,” Suresh Prabhu, railway minister.
“I have not received even one instruction from the prime minister’s office in the last two years. It’s a wrong impression that the PMO directs everything,” Piyush Goyal, minister of state for power, coal and renewable energy.
“The PMO or the prime minister has not intervened even once,” Mahesh Sharma, minister of culture and tourism.
“The prime minister has been highly accessible. He advises us, not dictates to us,” Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, minister of parliamentary affairs.
“I am given full operational freedom,” Najma Heptulla, minority affairs minister.
“The PM looks into the details of your work. He will have some very hard questions for you and he would know when you are doing khanapurti (bare minimum)….He will keep you on your toes and he will know every subject that he is questioning you on,” Smriti Irani, human resource development minister.
“It is very easy to work with Modi. He gives everyone a chance in decision-making. I have become a minister for the very first time, but if we want to raise any issues in the cabinet, we have full freedom to do so,” Dharmendra Pradhan, minister of petroleum and natural gas.
“The best thing I like about this prime minister is his clear thinking, he has long-term thinking and guts to take decisions,” Manohar Parrikar, defence minister.
“It is a very healthy atmosphere and we are working for the interest of the country. We are transparent, time-bound, result-oriented and the most important thing in our cabinet is we are making policies and taking decisions,” Nitin Gadkari, road, transport and highways minister.