Manmohan Singh was not a “weak” prime minister, said former Union minister and Congress leader Manish Tewari at a book launch event in Chandigarh. Speaking of the Congress-led UPA 2 tenure, Tewari further added that for some “strange reasons” Dr. Singh decided not to assert himself during the second term of the UPA government.
Responding to questions at an event, Tewari said, “My personal take is that Manmohan Singh was not a weak Prime Minister”.
“Had he been a weak PM, he wouldn’t have gone ahead with the civil nuclear deal. But for some strange reasons, he decided, during the second term of the UPA, not to assert himself,” the former Union minister said.
Manmohan Singh had come into steep criticism during the latter part of his tenure owing to alleged irregularities in coal and spectrum allocations, dubbed at ‘Coalgate’ and ‘2G scam’. Further anti-corruption movement launched by Anna Hazare too had put the Congress-led government in the deck.
Also, there have been anecdotal allegations of interference from the Congress top leadership in the decision making of the Manmohan dispensation, which inadvertendly led to what several critics called as “policy paralysis”.
Changing tracks, Manish Tewari trained guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his remarks at the just concluded election campaign in Uttar Pradesh assembly polls. Commenting on Modi’s remarks, he termed as “worrying” what he called the BJP’s bid to tailor the national discourse to its views.
“It is one thing when you are campaigning to become the PM and it’s another thing when you are the PM,” he said.
“Therefore, when you speak as the PM, in every action, every articulation of yours, that statesmanship should come out,” the former Union information and broadcasting minister said.
During a poll rally in Uttar Pradesh, Modi had stressed that there should be no discrimination on the basis of caste and religion.
(With inputs from the PTI)