The legacy of Manmohan Singh – the Congress will make him the scapegoat

Manmohan Singh has has one of the longest runs as the Prime Minister of India, next only to Nehru and Indira Gandhi. For somebody who has led the country over a period of 10 years, and with a huge list of impeccable credentials, one would have expected that MM Singh would not have had to worry about his legacy, about how he will be remembered by history, and by his own party. After all, he has had a record for being extremely well educated, honest and a technocrat. In addition, after the signing of the India-US nuclear accord, he seemed to be right on top, since he also managed to get rid of the Communists (different matter that his party had to buy some votes after that for remaining in power). He had some more ambitions, but the prime one was to bow out of office after having developed some sort of peace legacy with Pakistan, but the incidents provoked by Pakistan at different points meant that an embarrassed Congress party could not support such a peace endeavor.
Most citizens of the country now know his record and his legacy, so there is not much point of reporting all that has happened. A single sentence would be sufficient – the Prime Minister whose administration was the most corrupt Government in Indian history. Even his own personal reputation was shattered through several cases – where Raja claimed that the PM knew everything about the 2G case, the Coal scam where he was the concerned minister at the time of the scam, and the direct court reprimand in the case where he tried to make PJ Thomas as the CVC, and this was reversed by the Supreme Court. There was no doubting his authority in Government, since it was clear that ministers essentially considered themselves answerable to first Sonia Gandhi and then Rahul Gandhi, which meant that he was also the Prime Minister with the weakest authority.
However, even in his last press conference, he claimed that he was sure that his legacy would not be so bad as the media claims, and that posterity will see him in a better light. Was he right, or was it wishful thinking ? If you look at the short term future, one would tend to think that this was wishful thinking. The logic is simple. Almost all opinion polls, and even statements and actions (refusing to stand in elections) by senior Congress leaders is indicating that they are sure that there is going to be a washout for the Congress this time; and when the Congress gets wiped out, it needs a reason for the same. Anybody who knows anything about the Congress knows that the scapegoat CANNOT be Rahul or Sonia Gandhi, since they are the supreme leaders and the hope for the future. But there needs to be a scapegoat. Who ?
The Prime Minister makes a perfect target for that. With the grounds already being laid, this is only likely to intensify. Most people missed that, but in the famous Rahul Gandhi interview to Times Now, when Rahul was asked about why he did not say anything during the various scams such as 2G, Adarsh and all, the reply was a bit surprising. Rahul stated that that whenever such a situation came, he would convey his opinion to the Prime Minister, and left unstated about whether the Prime Minister should have done something or not. But it was a clear attempt to ensure that prime responsibility lay with Manmohan Singh. And then, you have the loyal PC Chacko blaming the Prime Minister for not being communicative enough with the public, this being stated as one of the reasons why the population got disenchanted with the Congress party. If it continues that the performance of the Congress is beyond short-term repair, the Gandhi’s will list the restraints, and ensure that Congress leaders will end up blaming Manmohan Singh for not being able to handle inflation, corruption and so on. MM Singh would remember his original leader, PV Narasmiha Rao, who has almost been disowned by the Congress.
Legacy ? Manmohan Singh should be worried about his own personal liberty, since the Congress will abandon him to fight many of these cases where he could be involved through either the Coal Ministry or the PMO.

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