a. People remember how bold Dr. Manmohan Singh was to put his government on the line for the nuclear agreement with the USA. He felt that such an agreement with USA was necessary and only then will India get the diplomatic advantage. People may disagree with this view. But there is no doubt that Dr. Manmohan Singh showed courage to enforce his view and got the agreement approved in parliament. However after 2009, Dr.Manmohan Singh was not given a free hand.
b. When Dr. Manmohan Singh put his government on the line in July, 2008, the CPM and Left parties withdrew support and expected the government to fall. . Suddenly, we found that Amar Singh and Mulayam Singh of Samajwadi party came up with 40 MPs to save his government. Sonia Gandhi was not even on talking terms with Mulayam Singh Yadav and yet Manmohan Singh got his help. This shows how astute a politician Manmohan Singh is. Mulayam Singh dumped the Left parties and saved Manmohan Singh. Yet, the Congress Party under-estimated the shrewdness of Manmohan Singh.
c. During the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, it was made clear that Manmohan Singh would continue as the Prime Minister. From 2009, the sycophants in the Congress party started giving the credit for the victory of 2009 to Rahul Gandhi and not Manmohan Singh. There were loud open sycophantic demands that Rahul Gandhi should replace Manmohan Singh. This eroded Manmohan Singh’s image and also destroyed his status as Prime minister. Sonia Gandhi did not warn people to avoid such insults. The Opposition made fun of him openly. The Gandhi family destroyed the image of their own government. Eventually, this exercise destroyed both the image of Manmohan Singh and his government.
d. Sonia Gandhi re-constituted the National Advisory Council of which she was the Chairman, against the quiet advice of the prime minister. She created a second and more powerful power center. There were a dozen members who came from outside Parliament and government. Though they were in-experienced and did not have any stature in the country, Sonia Gandhi took their advice and over-rode Manmohan Singh and his cabinet. The image of the government suffered. Impossible demands were made by the National Advisory Committee .The laws had to be passed and funds granted. This led to chaotic conditions in the government and most Ministers were secretly abusing the NAC members. Yet they had no courage to oppose Mrs. Gandhi. This led to bad advice and bad actions being foisted on the Government. If the NAC was so good, then despite the government slavishly following it, why have people rebelled against the Congress? Lakhs of crores were spent on NAC’s suggestions. This created inflation. But why blame Manmohan Singh for other’s mistakes?
e. The National Advisory Council had come up with the Anti-Communal law. This was strongly opposed by wide sections, saying it favors only one community. The Congress party should have been careful not to incite the non-Minorities and taken a very careful stance on this issue. If such laws were needed, they should have been wetted by senior legal experts and senior politicians and not amateurs and NGOs in the NAC. This single proposal created disturbance in the minds of the majorities and they began to see such moves as cynical vote-bank creations. Manmohan Singh is no way to blame for such communal polarization in the country.
f. Fiscal deficit and economic decline:
The Congress party keeps saying that economic problems in India were the creation of internal events and the government was not to blame. But the Indian budget was made by the Indian government. The budget was lop-sided and created a huge fiscal deficit of 30% per annum, leading to continuous and high inflation. The biggest anger of the Indian public was the high inflation and lack of employment. Manmohan Singh, as an economist, would never agree to such policies. But he was forced by Sonia Gandhi to allow huge budget deficits which were needed to finance welfare schemes. In the end, the welfare schemes became toxic and useless and made the Indian government hated for high prices and un-employment.
g. Corruption: In the last 3 years, there was a major agitation against corruption by Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal. Sonia Gandhi did not know how to handle such agitations. She is an expert in handling corrupt political leaders like Mulayam Singh, Mayavathi or DMK. But she had no clue on how to tackle people like Anna Hazare and Kejriwal. She tried threats and media campaigns against them. She ordered Ministers to abuse them and harass them. Instead they became stronger and exposed corruption of the government. In the end, it was Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi’s political failure that they mis=handled Hazare and Kejriwal on corruption. The blame is not with Manmohan Singh for the corrupt image of the government.
h. Division of Andhra Pradesh:
The division of Andhra Pradesh destroyed the political base of the Congress. It distracted the government for nearly 2 years. No one would say that Manmohan Singh had anything to do with the controversial division of Andhra Pradesh. The decision was purely and only Sonia Gandhi’s since she felt she will get at least 16 MPs from Telengana. If the division was a success, then she would have taken credit for it. Everyone advised Sonia Gandhi that it was futile to win seats by such divisions. Instead of giving good governance, she took the easy way out. The Division of Andhra Pradesh
There might be a book full of mistakes for the present difficulties of the Congress. But surely, Manmohan Singh is not the only cause of it.