Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi made a veiled attack on Monday at the UPA government contending that people had lost trust in governance which was a "serious threat" to the country as he pushed for decentralisation of power.
Modi, who is being projected by a section within the BJP as its prime ministerial candidate, drew a comparison with China in terms of development as he pitched for economic reforms, supported the policy of privatisation and backed FDI in various sectors except for retail.
While taking about his model of governance, he said India can match competition from China by exploiting the huge resources of young demography and democracy but it needs to think big which was not the case now.
"We think small...We need to think big. The canvas should be big. If we think on a big scale, we can succeed," he said during a nearly two-hour interaction at 'Think India Dialogue' organised by the TV18 Network, during which he spoke on a host of issues focussing on good governance.
"The common man does not have faith in the government. The system of governance is losing credibility, which poses a a serious threat to the country," he said, apparently targeting the Manmohan Singh government.
"There is discontent among people of all hues. There is no government, there is no governance. Today the wedge between the public and government is increasing," he said.
Modi said when people lose faith in government's credibility, social deterioration takes place. He, however, expressed hope that things can change within the existing system as situations keep evolving with time.
Modi lamented that the big danger was when there was lack of trust in governance and people looked at other avenues for justice. "When people lose faith in government's credibility, it leads to social deterioration," he said.
He also sought to suggest that the divide between the centre and state was hampering the country's progress and underlined the need for bridging it.
He also accused the Centre of stalling several initiatives of the Gujarat government ranging from supply of piped natural gas to allocation of funds for conservation of Asiatic lions.
"Good governance means to win the trust of the people and tell the people what you are doing and why you are doing and involve people if possible...that transparency is lacking," he said.
As part of his governance model, Modi mooted a new model - people, public, private partnership (P4) that involved people with various government initiatives with the private sector.
"We have to go one step ahead of the PPP model to a P4 model of people-public-private partnership. We have to inform people what we are doing, involve them and then see how we can work wonders," Modi said.
"Our nation just does not need a government, but adopt good governance," he said, adding that technology is a good mode for good governance.
Modi said what India needed was less of government and more of governance. He said government and governance are two sides of the same coin, but there was need to draw a clear line between both as their impact can be felt differently.
The Gujarat chief minister drew parallels of the government with a file, but said when life was infused in it it became governance.
Citing the example of Human Rights Commission, which was the sole body initially but got diluted as many such authorities were formed later, he said there is need to adopt an integrated approach to strengthen institutions.