I Am Not a Lameduck PM: Manmohan

I Am Not a Lameduck PM: Manmohan

Wednesday, 29 June 2011, 09:05 Hrs
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I Am Not a Lameduck PM: Manmohan
New Delhi: Dismissing talk that he is a "lameduck" Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh today said he has been entrusted with the job by the Congress party from which he has not heard "any contrary view".

Terming the perception that his government had gone "comatose" and was "lameduck" as clever propaganda of the Opposition "to which some sections of the media had lent ear", Singh asserted that "truth will prevail" and his performance will speak.

Tough criticism breaks Manmohan's silence.

Singh spoke of "maximum possible cooperation" that he was getting from Congress President Sonia Gandhi whom he met one-on-one every week. He had never felt that she was an "obstacle".

During a 100-minute interaction with five editors at his official residence, a relaxed Prime Minister confidently fielded questions on a wide range of issues including the talk that Rahul Gandhi should take his place, the Lokpal Bill, corruption and relations with neighbouring countries.

Sonia Gandhi had done a "superb job" as Congress President for nearly 15 years now, he underlined.

Asked about occasional statements from party functionaries that Rahul Gandhi should become Prime Minister, Singh said that the Congress Party and its President had entrusted him with this job and he had not heard any contrary view from the Congress high command.

"In fact, the Congress high command has always been most supportive, particularly Mrs Gandhi," the Prime Minister said.

He went on to add, "Personally, if you ask me, the general proposition that younger people should take over, I think, is the right sentiment". Whenever the party "makes up its mind I will be very happy to step down, but so long as I am here I have a job to do".

To a question about a possible reshuffle of his Cabinet, the Prime Minister said it was a "work in progress".

Asked if it could take place soon, Singh replied, "I cannot predict."

About Lokpal Bill, he said it was essential and desirable. The country needed a strong Lokpal although it is not not a "panacea".

He told the editors that he would try to find a way on the Lokpal issue and work for a national consensus. The government would reach out to the civil society but no group can insist that their views "A to Z" are the last word.

As for bringing the office of the Prime Minister under the purview of the Lokpal, the Prime Minister said that he has no hesitation in bringing himself under it.

However, many of his Cabinet colleagues were of the view that bringing the institution of the Prime Minister under Lokpal would create "an element of instability which can go out of hand".

In any case, the Prime Minister is covered by the anti-corruption act and is a 24-hour servant of the people, he said pointing out that a person holding that office can be removed by Parliament.

Singh said that he would like to be "guided" by political parties on this issue. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha and her Punjab counterpart Prakash Singh Badal had both expressed their views that this office should be kept out of Lokpal's purview.

Told about doubts being raised about the stability of his government, particularly in the light of problems with DMK, the Prime Minister said, "We have some points of tension but nobody wants an election."

On dialogue with civil society, he said that the government should appear to be receptive to what the society says and he had himself encouraged a dialogue with Anna Hazare.

With regard to Ramdev also, the effort was not to create unnecessary misunderstanding, he said, adding that he had earlier written to the yoga guru to share some of his concerns on blackmoney and corruption.

About the controversy surrounding the decision of four union ministers to meet Ramdev at Delhi airport, the Prime Minister said it was not to "receive" him but the meeting had been arranged so that it could take place before he entered Delhi.

Responding to a question about police action against Ramdev and his followers at Delhi's Ramlila ground in the middle of the night, Singh said it was unfortunate but he did not see any alternative.

If action had been taken the next day there would have been larger crowds, he said.

Asked if Hazare was naive or politically motivated, the Prime Minister said it was not good to question the motives of those government is negotiating with.

Asserting that his government was committed to pursuing whatever was feasible to deal with black money, tax evasion and corruption, the Prime Minister said it was nevertheless not a "one-shot operation".

He acknowledged that the telecom scam, the CWG scam and other perceived cases of corruption had caused genuine concern to the middle class whom he assured that the guilty would be punished.

In his opening remarks, the Prime Minister said there was a growing perception in the media that the government was under a siege and not able to implement its agenda.

He then went on to hit out at the role of the media for having become "accuser, prosecutor and the judge". No parliamentary democracy could function in that manner.

About foreign relations, the Prime Minister said India lived in a very uncertain neighbourhood and a very uncertain international economic environment.

On Pakistan, he said that the action taken by it so far on dealing with terror emanating from its soil was not satisfactory but India had to keep that country engaged.

He said that terror should never be used as a state policy. Terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) were offshoots of ISI.

Asked about the possibility of his visiting Pakistan, Singh said they were keen about it but there must be something solid to achieve.

About China, he said that the Indian media should not sensationalise differences with that country. He had dealt with the present leadership of President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao whom he regards as men of peace.

At the same time, the Prime Minister said India could not compromise on the issue of Arunachal Pradesh to which China lays claim and on river systems.
Source: PTI
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Reader's comments(11)
1: If fact no leader of CongI has any credibility including Man Mohan who by virtue its poor-fellow-type image people spares him for using any bad language for him.
CongI had all its Prime Ministers with tainted image right from Jawaharlal Nehru (Jeep scandal, Tibet dealing -Himalayan blunder), Indira Gandhi (withdrawal of 60 lakhs rupees from SBI through Nagarawala on phone, small loans not to be repaid, Simla scam, Emergency scams, Saint Bhindaranvale deal and license to Union Carbide), Rajiv Gandhi (Boffor scam, providing easy flee to Anderson, Narasinha Rao (payment by cash of one crore rupees by Lakhubhai Pathak), and now not the PM as Nehruvian but Nehruvian Number One has series of scams. To expect them to face the public with clear face is next to impossible. Man Mohan may not have made money through unauthorised channels, but he failed to perform his constitutional duties. It is en-par with scams. It is immaterial for people as to who makes the money through unauthorised channels. The existence of scams is the matter for mass.
Posted by:shirish dave - 30 Jun, 2011
2: Sad to see such a highly intelligent person being wasted.
Posted by:Chetna - 30 Jun, 2011
3: He says that those responsible behind all these scams which has happened will be punished. But what abt the money which they have taken away from us? I am surprised why no one want to know about that!
Posted by:John C - 30 Jun, 2011
4: There is a limit for everything what to do about the hyenas who run the congress party truly appreciate all the comments over here is a proof of how widely you are been cursed as a true puppet of that sonia. Did u really by degrees and trophys for your self to proove as a finance minister see what your hyenas have done to the nation buying a house now beyond anyones reach this corruption has come to us with conditions and we are all struglling to survive that means we still have to fight for our existense
Posted by:Ashwin - 30 Jun, 2011
5: hmm, You are shame duck to India.
Posted by:sks - 29 Jun, 2011
6: And I have Madam's permission to say so.
Posted by:V V S Prasad - 29 Jun, 2011
7: Well the 'academic' image of MMS breathed oxygen and made it move and flail for a few years long of the Congress corpse began rotting. Now, this oxygen cylinder itself is full of foul gases from the corpse. MMS is a lame duck? Please do not insult a duck and a lame one at it. Even a lame duck would fight and scream for its life and its kind when attacked. This worthless PM is beyond reproach and redeption. He is a just that - a puppet stagemanaged by the corruption hyenas of the congress party.
Posted by:harit124 - 29 Jun, 2011
8: You are completely destroying the Indian image internationally by doing/allowing such a corruptions,which had never happened in the Indian history.If you have a little respect about India,quit immediately.Everyday you are destroying the India in all the possible way.OH'Your Minister's,they are much expert in covering up all illegal things without any shame.
Posted by:Nazeer - 29 Jun, 2011
9: poor mmsingh, he is the last one to know. the word will soon travel to him that he is lameduck and was a lameduck from day 1.
Posted by:shilpy - 29 Jun, 2011
10: I thought the job was given to him by the people of India.
Posted by:Vedd Sampang - 29 Jun, 2011
11: You are Not a lameduck PM. rather a useless duck. You are the classic example of a brain in the drain.

Everyone knows you are the "Teddy Bear" of Sonia. Get out before you loose the last bit of respect.

Sad to see such a highly intelligent person being wasted.

Sorry to inform you this, YOU ARE As useless as tits on a bull.
Posted by:Veera Shakthi - 29 Jun, 2011