Monday, May 20, 2024

Congress turns cold on Dr Manmohan Singh

In the cacophonous electioneering campaign of the Congress, which ought to showcase its economic achievements of 2004-2014 tenure, there is never ever a mention of the very name of the Prime Minister and economist Dr Manmahon Singh as the grand old party wades deep into the 2019 General Elections.

The Congress campaign is completely centred around anti-Modi diarrhea and they seem reluctant to mention any credit which might have occurred during Dr. Manmohan Singh’s tenure. And that’s not surprising since Gandhis are always at the forefront in spotlight and are loathe to share it with any other party luminary. The sycophancy which defines the contours of Congress, holds a myopic view of everyone who is not from the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.

In the whole hullaballoo of levelling allegations, the Congress has not put its faith on its most credible voice, that of the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

A recent request by Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) asking the High command of Congress to field former Prime Minister from Amritsar constituency was not forwarded by the Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amrinder Singh, who said on Tuesday that Manmohan Singh’s seat was never in the reckoning. It may be recalled that Captain Amrinder Singh is the sitting MP from Amritsar, having defeated Union finance minister Arun Jaitley in the 2014 Elections.

The marginalization of  Dr Manmohan Singh hasn’t evoked any reaction from the octogenarian—a par for course with his general conduct in only doing as much as the party high command asks him to do so. Whenever a criticism is required against demonetization or GST, Manmohan Singh is dusted off the shelf and fulfills the role of rendering rent-a-byte quote.

The fears of Dr Manmohan Singh meeting former PM PV Narsimha Rao’s fate of ignominy and oblivion are very real. Not coming from a Gandhi family, the Congressman PV Narsimha Rao had to pay a very heavy price, notwithstanding his political acumen, and as a architect of liberalization of India’s economy. The non-reference of PV Narsimha Rao in the annals of Congress chapters is a hard reality of Indian polity.

And now Manmohan Singh stands on that brink of oblivion.

The fear of dwarfing of Gandhi family by an ‘outsider’ prevents anyone else’s as a leader, even if it means forsaking votes. In 2004, on the swearing-in ceremony of Mammohan Singh as Prime Minister, Mrs Sonia Gandhi occupied the prime chair in front row, an indication of who held the reins of the government. Pandit Nehru was similarly disdainful of Acharya Kriplani once when the latter, as party president, sought clarification from India’s first prime minister about a few of his decisions.

Though no longer in power, Manmohan Singh is apparently still under the spell of Sona-Rahul combine. It’s said that PM Narendra Modi had invited Manmohan Singh on the occasion of launch of GST but the latter had turned it down as he wasn’t given clearance by the top brass of the Congress.

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