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Satya Pal Singh. April 15. 2014. USE AND ABUSE OF PM MANMOHAN SINGH


Editorial. Satya Pal Singh. April. XV. XIV.







Satya Pal Singh-fnbworld By Satya Pal Singh



Manmohan Singh with Gandhis-fnbworld


MMS-Sonia Gandhi-fnbworld


Robert Vadra-fnbworld


Ashok Khemka-fnbworld



It's official now. Authentic accounts are emerging on how the Congress leadership has been using Dr Manmohan Singh to create and reserve space for a Nehru-Gandhi scion to assume power at an opportune moment. After a long wait and intense scrutiny of Rahul Gandhi's calibre and prowess as a prospective leader and statesman, he has now been projected as a consensus prime ministerial nominee, even though unofficial, apparently for tactical reasons. 

Dr Manmohan Singh, a proven high-calibre economist and a gentleman, carrying a stamp of indisputable honesty and integrity on his person, has apparently given his best to the party and the Nehru-Gandhi family, but certainly not his best to the nation. As he demits office in a couple of weeks from now, a big question stares into the eyes of every thinking Indian: How, why and where did Dr Singh fail? Why did his commandment flop and why did he functionally remain an ineffectual angel, spending time in the Prime Minister's office merely as a figure-head? 

The nation is now getting clearer answers to these nagging questions. Two days after a book by Dr Singh's former media adviser Sanjaya Baru claimed that Dr Manmohan Singh govt was actually being run by Mrs Sonia Gandhi, P C Parakh, another ex-bureaucrat, now says in a book that "PM was undermined by his own PMO and Ministers." Retired as Coal Secretary, Parakh gives details of how despite the PM's consent to competitive bidding in allocation of coal blocks, the matter was delayed by PMO and Ministers Shibu Soren and Dasari Narayan Rao until Parakh retired. The delay was intended to dump the whole idea of bidding. A question persistently chases the mind: Was all that blessed by Mrs Gandhi ? And if that was the case, where does the needle of suspicion stop ? Who doesn't know Soren's past  and his proximity to Congress leaders ?

And Parakh goes further to clarify in his book 'Crusader or Conspirator ? Coalgate and Other Truths': " It's unfortunate that while the PM was keen on implementing open bidding, he was unable to counter vested interests within his govt and the party...I don't know if the country would have got a better PM if Dr Manmohan Singh had resigned, instead of facing the humiliation of his own Ministers not implementing or even reversing his decisions."

Thus, Dr Manmohan Singh apparently remains a VVIP more sinned against than sinning, even as the chorus of Gandhi loyalists attempt putting every nonsense in the court of the beleaguered PM. Unfair enough, but then, one may ask : why did he cling to a place that heaped so much insult on him and slurred his reputation ? Was it because he was still enjoying every moment in the power corridor, despite little highs and lows at an emotional level? Aware of the fact that chief executive is ultimately responsible for all functions of the government, good or bad, party leadership clearly viewed it absolutely safe to operate its remote from a respectable distance, getting credit for everything that was good and willfully sidetracking everything that was bad and noxious to the nation.

Gandhi scion Rahul is an undeclared prime ministerial nominee of the Congress but the party, in a wider national view and public opinion, is in doldrums. As most opinion polls indicate a tally below 130 Lok Sabha seats for the party, a desperate leadership brings to the fore another Gandhi scion, Priyanka, broadly seen nationally as one having greater calibre than Rahul as a leader has. Even if one gets close to this view, questions crop up in myriad parts. 

Priyanka has a husband, called Robert Vadra, who has unwittingly pulled in a taint that will keep chasing him relentlessly, as long as the family has stakes in power. If Ashok Khemka, as a seasoned bureaucrat, had erred in putting blemish on Vadra, then no one has clearly bailed him out through a proper inquest, such that is reserved for ordinary folks of the land. Priyanka as Vadra's wife, therefore, faces big question marks. Rule of piety and fairness suggests that national leaders should be beyond all reproach and assailability. 


Rahul Gandhi-Narender Modi-fnbworld

It is increasingly being brought to public domain that priyanka was very keen to fight BJP's PM nominee Narendra Modi in Varanasi, but the party leadership stopped her. Why? Did the party fear she would steal Rahul Gandhi's thunder? Or, she would run the risk of getting exposed as another candy-floss, a most gazed entity going ephemeral. Last elections in UP and Bihar had amply demonstrated how Rahul factor went unnoticed on the ground. Janardan Dwivedi says Rajiv Gandhi spoke to him about his daughter's 'political aptitude" way back in 1990. Does it show and prove that Priyanka has evolved any further going along that essential natural flair for political leadership, now that she is come of age ?

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra-fnbworld

And how the tales spin and get set into human psyche? Just sample what a journalist writes: " Imagine a Narendra Modi vs Priyanka Gandhi contest for the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat. It would have been the mother of all election battles and would have put everything and everyone else in the shade. It would have electrified the nation and riveted the attention of the world."


How many millions are takers of this view? I am not sure. What I am sure of is that it would have been just another contest, where even Priyanka would have lost. One may build euphoria, but to maintain that always remains a tall order.

And, then, the ultimate question passes by: Why should a leader from only one family rule when a party offers thousands of other capable stalwarts worth the ruling clout and grit. When Pranab Mukherjee was available for the top job, why was Dr Singh inducted as a proxy ruler? After all, Dr Singh was catapulted to real power by Pranab Mukherjee and none else. I feel Mrs Gandhi is doing great disservice to the nation by putting focus just on her own family. Let this nation feel the grandeur of having a competent, honest leader at the top, drawn from the community of commoners. Gone are the days of dynasty fixation!


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