The dummy prime minister

jun06-sonia-manmohan1.jpgIn the summer of 2004 in a roundtable discussion on India’s development organized by the PIOs of Sri Lanka a question was posed to me. How are you managing with the super Prime Minister Sonia Gandhi in India? This question in Colombo was unexpected. After objecting to that media news bitten PIO’s statement, I elaborated the pragmatic approach of Mrs. Gandhi.  I detailed out the free hand given to the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.

After two years of the bitter argumentative pill given by a  PIO, I am compelled to reconsider my position about the UPA government and the Prime Minister. It is not that Mrs. Sonia Gandhi has upped her ante and made the transnational rumor a reality but the dismal performance of Dr. Manmohan as the head of the government is troubling the governance watchers.

The cold retreat from the Indo American nuclear deal has exposed  his government driving. The nuke deal’s failure after Left’s noisy opposition and the mid term poll unpreparedness expressed by allies like DMK, NCP and RJD compelled the P.M to freeze it. Every pre poll prediction points toward the slight improvement in the tally of Congress and the decimation of its allies in Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Maharashtra. It was the nervousness of Congress coalition partners which forced the withdrawal of nuke deal talk. Rightly Dr. Manmohan snubbed the Left regarding the need for atomic power to sustain the above 9 percent growth. In pulling down the double standards of the Communists the P.M adopted an unbelievable courage. What is next is the big question?

First of all the nuclear deal with USA was wrong. Without initiating a full-fledged debate in the Parliament and its green signal the P.M went ahead with it.  Apart from this single issue controversy, he failed to deliver his promises given to the nation after swearing in as the parliamentary leader of the entire nation. To reform the bureaucracy and plug the loopholes in the delivery system was the first assurance in his reform agenda. Three and half years in the highest authority not a single forward movement has been taken in this direction.

There is no coherence and coordination among his cabinet colleagues. The UPA is like a derailed bogey slipping away from the track in different directions. The worst sufferer in this silly game played by ruling alliance is the public welfare. To escape from the wider criticism it is common for any member of the government and the Congress party to mention the higher allocation for socially sensitive sectors like education, health, agriculture and rural development. Yet the increased money for program is to demonstrate the improvement in the living standards of the poor citizens.

If the quality of life for the BPL category had gone up in the last three plus years there is no need for Congress to worry about facing the public for votes. Why should it bring back thirty years old slogan “Garibi hatao” in 2007? The atmosphere in 24 Akbar road in New Delhi is full of doom and gloom. There is no surety feeling among the Congress leaders and cadres to improve the present tally of 143 to a dramatic level. Again there is an unanimity that the Congress cannot secure majority on its own. So the words of non Left alliance partners are paramount for the grand old party of the country. Even after the full term the situation will be the same if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is not going to shed his dummy image and start delivering better for the most neglected sections of the society.


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