National Security Adviser Ajit Doval on Thursday said the country needs a stable and decisive government over the next decade to achieve its economic, political and strategic aims, PTI reported. He said that governments will have to take hard decisions that may not be popular with the people, to ensure India’s progress.

Doval made the remarks while delivering the Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture in New Delhi. His comments came as political parties ratchet up the pressure on each other ahead of the Assembly elections in five states and the Lok Sabha elections in coming months.

Democracy is India’s strength and it needs to be preserved, said Doval. “Weakened democracies can tend to make a country a soft power,” he said. “India cannot afford to be a soft power for the next few years. It will be compelled to take hard decisions.”

Doval said that people in a democracy need to be educated and informed, ANI reported. “There is always a possibility of false narrative to derail the democracy, today it has spiralled manifolds because of technology and it has now become the responsibility of our citizens to erode the strength of the false narrative,” he said.

Doval said that a soft power is forced to make compromises, which puts its national interest on the back-burner. “India cannot go for unstable coalitions,” he said, adding that unstable governments are more prone to corruption and weaknesses.