This is the second time in a fortnight when Manmohan Singh has spoken and this time, the second time, he has created a lot of buzz through his words. Now pundits are busy interpreting what he meant and political folks are busy endorsing, denying or critiquing what he said.
I am not a pundit and I don’t have any intention to be the one but our dear Manmohan, the comfortably-numb-economist-turned-poor politician-cum-weak prime minister, pushes me again and again to write on what he speaks, on what he does.
Manmohanji, my sincere apologies, but as you have the right to speak selectively and be answerable to the nation selectively, I have the right to write on you whenever my urge pushes me to write, and writing on something that you speak that is uncharacteristic of you or something that makes for some unlikely ‘dramatic’ stuff from an expressionless face like you is a natural extension of that right.
So, where were we? Okay, Manmohan Singh speaking something on Rahul Gandhi yet again, but this time, in clearer terms. To put him in his words precisely, let’s quote him from a media report on what he illuminated us with about Rahul Gandhi while returning from the G20 Summit in St Petersburg. He said: “I have always maintained that Rahul Gandhiji would be an ideal choice for the prime minister’s position after the 2014 election. I would be very happy to work for the Congress party under the leadership of Mr Rahul Gandhi.”
In past, on more than one occasion, Manmohan has endorsed Rahul Gandhi’s candidature but he was never ever so clear. In fact, in the series of ‘Rahul Gandhi’ endorsements, he endorsed even himself for the third term, like he did in April when he said ‘he was not ruling it in; he was not ruling it out’.
So, what made him eulogize Rahul Gandhi in so clear terms now?
Can it by the growing realisation that he has lost all his credibility and it is better to step aside now? But, why then he added he would be happy to work under Rahul Gandhi? Haven’t we seen more than enough of him?
Can it be the growing realisation in the Congress party that it can still win the next parliamentary polls riding on the triple factors of (1) a scattered political opposition, (2) a divided house – Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) and National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on Narenrda Modi and (3) the United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) populist electoral measures like ‘direct cash transfer, food security and land acquisition bills’ and so, it is the time to play from the front, to put forward the Congress scion for that elusive prime-ministerial chair that has been ditching the Nehru-Gandhi family for over two decades now?
Is it the dawn of ‘right’ realisation in Manmohan’s thinking that UPA is not going to win back even if counting the return of all the populist election sops in and it is the time to settle the score (by shifting the axis of electoral loss away from him) by clearly endorsing the name of Rahul Gandhi so as to give some definitive push to the demand of almost every Congress politician to project Rahul Gandhi as the prime-ministerial nominee for the next parliamentary polls in 2014? There have been real-time speculations on Sonia Gandhi-Manmohan Singh differences, especially on extreme push for the populist sops when the economy is in tatters, something that is directly ominous for the brand Manmohan Singh; something that has played a pivotal rule in bringing down Manmohan’s fame, obviously, in collaboration with the ‘compulsions of the coalition politics’.
Anyway, if Manmohan’s words come true, he will give India its yet another ‘first’ – this will be the first time in India’s political history that an ex-prime minister would take a junior job in his party’s future government.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – http://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/