Ever since PM Modi stormed to power in 2014, a remarkable feature that has defined him has been statesmanship. Even when he meets some of his most vocal political rivals in public life, there is no expression of bitterness. PM Modi has once again exhibited statesmanship by meeting former Union Minister, Arun Shourie at a Pune hospital. Taking to Twitter, the Prime Minister said, “In Pune, I met former Union Minister Arun Shourie Ji. Enquired about his health and had a wonderful interaction with him. We pray for his long and healthy life.” PM Modi was in Pune to attend the three day conference of IGs and DGPs.
In Pune, I met former Union Minister Arun Shourie Ji. Enquired about his health and had a wonderful interaction with him.
We pray for his long and healthy life. pic.twitter.com/arjXSUoirf
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 8, 2019
Arun Shourie, who held the office of the Minister of Disinvestment, Communication and Information Technology in the Vajpayee government recently suffered a brain injury after a fall, and is undergoing treatment in the hospital where PM Modi visited him. PM Modi spent nearly 15 minutes with the former Union Minister at the Pune hospital. The doctors said, “The PM spent 15 minutes with Shourie. He embraced Shourie during their interaction.” The doctors added that PM Modi also spoke to Shourie’s family members outside his room and stayed at the hospital for around 45 minutes before heading to the airport. The hospital sources also said that PM Modi’s visit to the hospital was not pre-decided.
What makes PM Modi’s gesture special is the fact that he visited Arun Shourie despite the embitterment of Shourie’s relations with the BJP. Shortly after PM Modi came to power, Arun Shourie became a vocal critic of the Modi government, eventually parting ways with the BJP. In fact, he has often been too harsh in his criticism of the BJP and has frequently levelled allegations of wrongdoings by PM Modi in the Rafale deal. In fact, he joined hands with former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha and Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan in his relentless efforts to corner the Modi government over the Rafale deal. Along with Sinha and Bhushan, Arun Shourie targeted PM Modi over the Rafale deal from the very starting. Even after the Supreme Court dismissed all petition alleging foulplay in the Rafale deal, Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha decided to file review pleas. More recently, after the Supreme Court gave a clean chit to the Modi government, dismissing the review petitions, Shourie went on to demand a CBI probe into the Rafale deal.
In fact, Arun Shourie has been rather bitter in his criticism of the Modi government ever since the souring of his relations with the BJP. When the self-acclaimed intellectuals had started the intolerance debate in a desperate bid to hurt PM Modi’s image, Arun Shourie was at the forefront of the campaign against PM Modi. He had gone on to make some of the most bizarre insinuations against PM Modi including allegations of deliberately maintaining silence over lynchings, turning India into Pakistan and creating an atmosphere of intolerance. While the BJP has not cared to give much attention to his remarks and insinuations, Shourie has kept attacking the BJP after parting ways with the party.
What a statesman like gesture sir!
— Monica (@TrulyMonica) December 8, 2019
— Pranav Mahajan (@pranavmahajan) December 8, 2019
So much to learn. So much.
— Kanchan Gupta (@KanchanGupta) December 8, 2019
Despite Shourie’s staunch opposition to the BJP and baseless allegations over the Rafale deal, PM Modi met an ailing Shourie during his visit to Pune, which has set an example of how political leaders should get over ideological and political rivalry in such circumstances. This has set a very good precedent and has received a lot of appreciation on Twitter where PM Modi posted snaps of his meeting with the former Union Minister. With this visit, PM Modi has once again shown that he is a true statesman and notwithstanding the souring of political relations with his rivals, he does not really believe in getting vindictive at a personal level.