From Chief Architect Of Economic Transformation To 'Remote Control PM': Key Incidents That Contributed To Dr Manmohan Singh's 'Feeble Leader' Image

From Chief Architect Of Economic Transformation To 'Remote Control PM': Key Incidents That Contributed To Dr Manmohan Singh's 'Feeble Leader' Image

Despite completing two terms as Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh was perceived as a feeble leader. He lacked the attributes of a proficient politician, speaker, and organizer.

Rahul MUpdated: Wednesday, April 03, 2024, 12:42 PM IST
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Former PM Manmohan Singh | Photo by ANI

Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will no longer be a parliamentarian as he retires as a member of the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, April 3rd. His 33-year long tenure is concluding amidst the Lok Sabha elections. Dr. Singh first entered the upper house of parliament in 1991, where he served as Leader of the Opposition between 1998 and 2004. Many credit Dr. Singh with opening up India's economy to the world. He served as Prime Minister of the country for two terms between 2004 and 2014.

Former American President Barack Obama, in his memoir published in 2020, heaped praise on Dr. Singh, describing him "as a chief architect of India's economic transformation" and "a self-effacing technocrat who won people's trust not by appealing to their passions but by bringing about higher living standards and maintaining a well-earned reputation for not being corrupt."

Despite completing two terms as Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh was perceived as a feeble leader. He lacked the attributes of a proficient politician, speaker, and organizer. His tenure was marred by incidents that contributed to his negative image in the minds of the people.

Rahul Gandhi's ordinance stunt

Months before 2014 Lok Sabha elections, in October 2013, Rahul Gandhi, who was Congress president then, “torn” his own government's proposed ordinance overturning a Supreme Court judgment during a press conference. The ordinace was brought to save convicted MLAs, MPs from disqualification. Rahul had termed the ordinance "complete nonsense". This action by Rahul Gandhi highlighted that Manmohan Singh had poor control over both the government and the party.

Remote control PM

There was a general peception in the country that Manmohan Singh ran a government without political authority. Some say he was he was a ‘lame duck’ prime minister/accidental prime minister, he lacked support of people of India, he was supported by Congress party. It is alleged that the power to take policy decisions was solely with then Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. He could have taken many strong decisions but he couldn't due to party pressure.

Rahul Gandhi's refusal to join his cabinet

In a press conference held in 2010, Manmohan Singh stated to the media that he had extended multiple invitations to Rahul Gandhi to join his cabinet, but received negative responses. It was rumored that Rahul was hesitant to work under him, as he aspired for the highest position. Manmohan Singh's statement reinforced the prevailing notion that members of the Gandhi family wield more influence than the prime minister.

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