Editorial: ‘Accidental PM’ Leaves Behind Great Legacy

Editorial: ‘Accidental PM’ Leaves Behind Great Legacy

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Monday, April 08, 2024, 09:37 PM IST
article-image
Dr Manmohan Singh | File Photo

Dr Manmohan Singh has retired from the Rajya Sabha, bringing an end to an over three-decade-long distinguished career in politics. Dr Singh, who is described as the architect of India’s liberalisation of the economy, had a remarkable innings. First named Finance Minister in the Narasimha Rao Cabinet between 1991 and 1996, he was instrumental in opening up the Indian economy by taking bold, innovative steps. Dubbed the “accidental prime minister” as the reins of governance were thrust on him by Sonia Gandhi, in his two terms as PM from 2004 to 2014 he introduced many landmark schemes such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the Right to Education Act and others. He stuck to his guns on the Indo-US nuclear deal despite the strong opposition from his government’s coalition partner, the Left parties. Their exit from the government did not deter him. His first term was marked by successes that led the Congress to another victory in the 2009 general election. However, his second term as PM was marked by a series of scams exposed by a Comptroller and Auditor General who was later unable to defend his outrageous charge of a Rs 1.76 lakh crore “notional” scam in the 2G spectrum allotment. The damage had been done and, fuelled by the popular Anna Hazare-led anti-corruption movement, Dr Singh’s reputation took a beating. Amid accusations of being dictated to by the first family of the Congress, the Nehru-Gandhis, Dr Singh was never able to recover and the Congress was routed in the 2014 elections by a resurgent BJP led by Narendra Modi. Manmohan Singh, who never contested a Lok Sabha election, has often been described as the “weakest PM” by the BJP but his achievements cannot be entirely wished away. An academic and a bureaucrat, his sound understanding of economics earned him respect from leaders across the globe and his sincere efforts to mend ties with Pakistan, even if a little miscalculated, should not be forgotten. Dr Singh himself, when questioned about his many alleged failures, maintains that history will judge him more kindly. The veteran Congressman’s legacy will surely live on.

RECENT STORIES

Bihar Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Will Tejashwi Yadav Revive The Fortunes Of RJD?

Bihar Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Will Tejashwi Yadav Revive The Fortunes Of RJD?

Is The 'Fear' Factor Displacing The ‘Hope’ Factor In This Election?

Is The 'Fear' Factor Displacing The ‘Hope’ Factor In This Election?

Editorial: Unacceptable Parity Between Hamas, Israel

Editorial: Unacceptable Parity Between Hamas, Israel

Editorial: Power Struggle In Tehran

Editorial: Power Struggle In Tehran

Timeless Bharat: A Look From India 2047

Timeless Bharat: A Look From India 2047