Shaken by the strong statement of Rahul Gandhi, Congress leaders are scratching their heads how tino handle the situation. The man worried most is in the United States. Will he, will he not resign? This is the moot question agitating the minds of not only senior Congress leaders but other leaders across the political spectrum of the country and some political pundits in the media. But given his track record, Manmohan Singh is highly unlikely to demit office of Prime Minister. His reaction in Washington on Friday soon after Rahul Gandhi’s remark that the Ordinance protecting convicted MPs/MLAs cleared by the Union Cabinet presided over by the Prime Minister and sent to the President Pranab Mukherjee for the promulgation of the same was, “The ordinance cleared by the Cabinet pertaining to the Representation of the People Act has been a matter of much public debate. The Congress Vice President has also written to me on the issue and also made a statement. The Government is seized with all these developments. The issue raised will be considered on my return to India after due deliberations of the Cabinet”.
It is to be noted that Prime Minister in his statement has mentioned Rahul Gandhi as ‘Congress Vice President’ and not by his name with a suffix of ‘ji’ as he normally does. Manmohan Singh appears to be peeved but not angry. Even if he supposedly is angry he lacks the guts to resign as Prime Minister. Only a couple of weeks back he had said that he would be too willing and glad to serve under the leadership of ‘Rahulji’.
Here, the question is not of Manmohan Singh, an individual. It is the question of Prime Minister of India. Can a Prime Minister function or does the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has any moral right to continue as the Prime Minister? The answer is a big ‘NO’. The Congress Vice President who is set to succeed his mother Sonia Gandhi as the Congress President has not only rejected the Union Cabinet’s decision on the Ordinance but has trashed the Prime Minister authority as well. Already, Manmohan Singh has worked as the weakest Prime Minister of India ever. He was not able to resist or raise his voice against some highly controversial decisions and scams of his ministers and MPs; be it 2G, CWG or Coal. He has been a silent supporter of the loot of public money although his stint as Prime Minister of the country. To me it appears that the Prime Minister’s chair is dearer to him than the interests of the nation. We have to wait and watch how he reacts on the entire issue when he comes back from New York after addressing the UN General Assembly.
There are speculations that Prime Minister will resign and advance the general elections to the Lok Sabha along with the state assembly polls in five States due in November this year. Alternatively, Manmohan Singh should quit and pave the way to someone else to take over the reins of the government till 2014 when the Lok Sabha elections are originally due. The fact that Sonia Gandhi was very much present at the crucial meeting of the ‘core committee’ of the Congress where the decision to bring Ordinance to protect convicted MPs/MLAs was cleared throws onus on the Congress President to share the responsibility for pushing an unconstitutional and politically motivated ordinance to reverse the Supreme Court judgment on the R P Act. If Manmohan Singh goes, Sonia Gandhi too should quit as the Congress chief and let her son Rahul Gandhi takes the full control of the Party apparatus. The million dollar question is- will it happen?
~R. K. Sinha