| How long Manmohan Singh can endure being a manikin ?
Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Oxford don, the University of Cambridge Adam Smith award winner, the IMF economist, Padma Vibhushan, the architect of India’s economic reforms, winner of the Finance Minister of the Year award (1993-94), the Outstanding Parliamentarian, the former RBI governor and Mr. Squeaky Clean of Indian politics has always remained a non-political figure ever since he was given the finance minister’s job by Narasimha Rao in 1991. India has every reason to feel proud to have a Prime Minister of his ability, integrity and intellect.
Needless to repeat that the economic liberalization package pushed by Singh and Rao changed the way India did business as it opened the country to foreign direct investment and reduced the red tape that had previously impeded the business growth. The liberalization was prompted by an acute balance-of-payments crisis whereby the Indian government was left without sufficient reserves to meet its obligations, and had begun preparations to mortgage its gold reserves to the Bank of England in order to obtain the cash reserves needed to run the country.
Is Manmohan in the right company ? Perhaps not, because the skullduggery, deceit and perfidiousness that are such dominant part of today’s Indian politics and the Congress party with its marxist/leftist supporters who pushed India to bankruptcy is not really where a gentleman like MMS belongs. Despite continuous marginalization and defeats in the elections of 1996, 1998 and 1999, he stayed with the Congress and did not join the rebels in a major split which occurred in 1999, when many major Congress leaders (Madhav Rao Scindia, Jitendra Prasad and Rajesh Pilot all of whom died mysteriously, and Sharad Pawar who started NCP) objecetd to Sonia’s rise as Congress President and Leader of the Opposition.
So why is he still staying there knowing fully well …
- that the steering wheel of the government is held by the UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi. And even as he presses the accelerator, the Left applies apply the brakes bringing the much-needed reform process to a grinding halt.
- that as PM, he is unable to stop or even dilute the insane, irresponsible and divisive 50% reservation proposals that will benefit mostly already well-off OBCs (read Jats, Yadavs and Kurmis) because of their dominant position and vote bank in Hindi belt, especially in UP and Bihar.
- that for Sonia Gandhi staying in power has become a family business and a rich source of income, and none is more profitable in Indian politics than putting on an Hindu “Bahu” garb, take on a Gandhi-Nehru mantle and showering crocodile tears for the OBCs, scheduled castes/tribes and dalits.
- that over 25 MPs, mostly Catholics, led by the sidelined Chhattisgarh leader Ajit Jogi did not waste time in appealing to ‘Madam’ to take over the reins as the country’s Prime Minister in the wake of spectacular victory in Rae Bareilly.
- that in a perfect stage-managed exercise that can fool only her foot-lickers Congress walahs, the Mother of sacrifices resigned from the Lok Sabha after the first part of the Budget session on the Office of Profit issue and returned within a month to attend the second part of the session. Then after her re-election, Congress Party in its characteristic haste goes ahead to get the “Office of Profit” bill passed thru the Parliament exempting both the NAC chairmanship and the Communist speaker Som Nath Chatterjee’s SSDA (Sriniketan Shantiniketan Dev. Authority) from its purview. Yet, another humiliation for the PM as he watched the old Sonia loyalists like Pranab Mukerjee and Law Minister HR Bharadwaj making complete mince meat of the Indian constitution.
- that the Congress Party sacrificed its interest in WB and Kerala to let the Communists stage an impressive victory in the latest round of Assembly elections. For forever the parasites of power as these Congresswalahs are the party had no choice but “to take it or leave it” from the Communists if it wanted their crucial support to survive at the centre. So, there the Congress “madam” goes to Kolkata to congratulate Buddha Bhattacharjee’s, as with only 63 MPs, he could make hell for the UPA Government, particularly on a PM, who is publicly humiliated day in and day out by Sonia Gandhi and her supporters.
- that Congress Party just watches when in a blunt message smacking of their arrogance and aggression, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat declared within hours of the party’s victory in West Bengal and Kerala that the results have strengthened the role of the Left in national politics and would increase their intervention in it. Breathing fire and vowing vengeance for the EC’s attempts to prevent scientific rigging in West Bengal, Karat said, “These elections have raised many serious questions about the nature and role of the Election Commission. There should be reforms in the Election Commission and the CPI (M) wants a debate on this issue”. He described the Commission’s role in the state as “unwarranted intervention”. Equally scary was the cryptic remarks of the CPI national secretary D. Raja who said the Congress should learn a lesson from the results and should not take the Left support for granted.
- that Congress Party just watches haplessly as more muscle fixing, more extractions (or is it extortions), more extra-constitutionalism and more extremism by the left goes on, such as support to the Maoists in Nepal and its resultant impact on the Maoists/Naxalite corridor running through several Indian states.
How long can Manmohan Singh stay as PM with such an anti-national alliance ? He will surely leave out of his own volition earlier than most think, for now he is just a stop gap for the incoming royal sapling from the heat and dust of Rae Bareilly.