Prime Minister Narendra Modi has earned his laurels as an international diplomat by promoting Indian democracy and economic power abroad. Now, he is turning national diplomat in his new avatar as the consensus maker who is willing to go the extra courteous mile; his Friday invitation to tea extended to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress boss Sonia Gandhi to clear the GST roadblock is the first indication of this change. “Do not shout” but “talk” is the new message. Next week, Lok Sabha will heat up over the “intolerance” issue.
By promptly agreeing to a debate on it, Modi has acquired the image of a reasonable leader who is willing to discuss instead of defy, thus aiming to take the wind out of the Congress sails. The prime minister’s objectives are two—restart the legislative process with debate rather than with acrimony, and revive stalled economic reform. Close aides say Modi has already prepared a blueprint for future legislation. He has also created a new team to sort out differences with the Opposition by consensus—Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari, Venkaiah Naidu and Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who have the suaveness, stature and political experience to deal with Congress in a reconciliatory manner than dumbing down any dialogue arrogantly.