PM missing in poll action
PM Manmohan Singh Missing in Poll Action, PM is missing from the election scene. He is nowhere to be spotted for batting for his two-term UPA performance.
New Delhi: After being in the forefront for 10 years, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is missing from the election scene. He is nowhere to be spotted for batting for his two-term UPA performance. He campaigned in Assam earlier and is slated to visit Kerala on Sunday to campaign for the Congress candidates. He is also likely to tour Punjab and seek votes from the Sikh voters in the State.
Besides these three States -- Assam, from where he is a Rajya Sabha MP, Kerala where literacy rates are high, and can explain his inclusive growth thesis, and Punjab where he can connect with the Sikh voters -- Manmohan Singh has almost been forgotten by his partymen elsewhere. The party leaders feel that his presence would further harm their winning prospects, rather than help them in garnering more votes. He is the fall guy, who has been isolated from the party with the leadership holding him responsible for not doing enough to revive the sagging economy.
During UPA-I, Manmohan Singh's single-biggest achievement, signing of the Indo-US nuclear deal, had won him accolades, enabling the government to seek votes and return to power for the second term. This time round, despite a series of rights-based legislations, it is the string of scams during his tenure that brought his popularity down southwards. So apprehensive is the Congress of losing the battle against Narendra Modi-led BJP that he has been kept out of the election scene.
As compared to Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, who have not a single day to spare for themselves, Manmohan Singh has no work, nor is anyone interested to invite him to his constituency except the candidates from Punjab, who feel that his presence may arouse the sentiments of the Sikhs and help them in garnering votes in the State. It is an irony that the economist-turned-politician Manmohan Singh is being asked to campaign only in his home State and seek the votes on community lines, instead of touring the entire country and speaking on the economy.
Interestingly, what Manmohan Singh could achieve as the Finance Minister of former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao, he could not achieve, when he, himself, was in command from 2004 to 2014. He failed to revive the economy that paved the way for rising inflation and loss of jobs, pushing the youth to look around for new alternatives in the political arena.
Manmohan Singh was never a charismatic leader and is, therefore, not in demand. After his declaration of signing-off from politics, Congressmen have no qualms in blaming him for the failure of the UPA government.
Senior Congress leader P C Chacko was on record to put the blame on his shoulders, saying that the Prime Minister did not come out to speak about his policies to the media and seldom addressed the scribes.
With his innings over, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who never forgot to extend full respect to him at the official functions, is busy with her own election schedule. It was on March 26 that the Congress had released its Election Manifesto with all the three leaders - Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi - sharing the dais together.
Now, with the election process already commenced, Manmohan Singh has taken the backseat, with Sonia and Rahul taking the onus on them to defend the UPA government. The driver is missing, as he is accused of taking all the wrong turns that brought a bad name to the country.