In perhaps his most stinging criticism so far, former BJP minister Arun Shourie, in a 40-minute interview to Karan Thapar on India Today, said that PM Narendra Modi’s two year-old government was characterised by “confrontation, centralisation, events, exaggeration and polarisation.”

We’ve broken down the 40-minute interview into quotes that’ll summarize the entire conversation.  

On Modi’s two-year stint as PM

  • ‘Modi’s two years as Prime Minister has been a boxing match with everybody.’
  • ‘It is a one-man government without the checks and balances.’
  • ‘The direction the government is taking under his supervision is not good for India.’
b’Source: PTI’

On Modi being ‘narcissistic’, ‘insecure’, ‘Machiavellian’ and ‘remorseless’

  • ‘Modi treats people like paper napkins. Use them and throw away.’
  • ‘Modi even uses tragedies like the Kerala temple tragedy, floods of 2014 in J&K and earthquake in Nepal to project himself.’

On Modi government using a ‘divide, win elections and rule’ formula

  • ‘Ghar Wapsi and Love Jihad are well orchestrated & well-timed campaigns before elections to polarise people and win elections by any means.’

b”BJP MP Yogi Adityanath made ‘Love Jihad’ a polling issue in Uttar Pradesh | PTI”
  • ‘There will be a systematic attempt to curb civil liberties.’
  • ‘De-centralized intimidation in which a cloak is given, such as nationalism is given to local thugs to choke the inconvenient voices.’
b’Relatives of Mohammad Akhlaq mourn after he was killed by a mob at his residence in Dadri town, in Uttar Pradesh on September 29, 2015 over rumours that he had stored beef in his house | Reuters’

On corruption

  • ‘There is thus far not a single allegation of any minister having made indulged in corruption in Modi’s government.’ 
  • ‘However, corruption in the states continue and action is taken or not taken according to convenience. 
b’Youth Congress workers get their heads tonsured during a protest against the NDA government over Lalitgate and Vyapam scam, in New Delhi | PTI’

On the AgustaWestland corruption case

  • ‘Parrikar speech had no substance. He stated no new facts which wasn’t available in the public domain.’
  • ‘Modi government had two years to find out new facts, they couldn’t find a single fact?’
b’Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar took on the Congress party in the Lok Sabha on Friday over the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam | PTI’

On Modi’s Pakistan policy

  • ‘We’ve made fools of ourselves with regards to Pakistan.’ 
  • ‘Lunatic act of letting a Pakistani team inspect our airbase.’
  • ‘It was wonderful initiative of Modi to visit Lahore on Christmas day.’
  • ‘I think Nawaz Sharif would be feeling ‘I don’t what he will do the next day.’
b’From left: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi | PTI’

On the state of the economy

  • ‘Economy has been poorly handled. They’ve only managed headlines, not the economy.’