Former Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Shourie on Friday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was running a one-man “presidential government without checks and balances” and that under his supervision, the direction the Centre was headed in “is not good for India”. In an interview on India Today, Shourie analysed the Modi-led government’s two years in power. He warned that he expected “a more systematic attempt to curb civil liberties” and a rise in “choking of inconvenient voices”, PTI reported.

The two-term Rajya Sabha member, who was a cabinet minister in former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government, also criticised the way Modi allegedly treated people. Shourie said the prime minister’s “attitude to people is to use and throw them” and that he treated them like paper napkins. The writer further accused Modi of being narcissistic and indulging in machiavellianism, which he said meant that the prime minister “exploits events to his benefit”, a press release issued by the news channel said.

The veteran journalist came down strongly on the BJP-led NDA government with regard to its foreign relations, especially with Pakistan. “We have made fools of ourselves in the eyes of Pakistan,” he said, adding that there was neither any consistency, nor any logic to Modi’s policy on the neighbouring country.

He also said the prime minister followed a divide and rule policy, accusing the government of “deliberately orchestrating” recent events, such as the focus on banning beef, saying Bharat Mata ki Jai, and the campaign against anti-nationalism, to create an atmosphere of “confrontation and polarisation”, India Today reported.