30 July, 2021

Of A Science Called Manmohanology

Manmohan is stamping his own imprint on policy, but that’s putting him at odds with the party

Narendra Bisht
Of A Science Called Manmohanology

In his first term as prime minister, Manmohan Singh carried the burden of being the country’s “nominated” chief executive, with the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC) almost laying down the government’s agenda for the social sector: at least for the first three years. Alongside, he had to deal with an ideologically incompatible ally in the Left (till he was rid of them in his fourth year) and often intransigent cabinet colleagues, led by former HRD minister Arjun Singh.

But when the UPA returned with an increased majority in 2009, Manmohan’s grip on the reins—his unblinking helmsmanship of the nuclear deal, his steering of the recession-time economy—too was cited to explain why the coalition was back on Raisina Hill. He was seen as a factor, at least as much as the party-led welfarism. The Manmohan Singh of UPA-II is accordingly much more his own man. The Left is not breathing down his neck. Sonia, in the last nine-odd months, has largely left him to his own devices. She may have...

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