Has the middle-class deserted Manmohan Singh?

Manmohan Singh was always the darling of the middle-class. He was educated, honest, and had risen to the top on his own steam—plus Manmohanomics had put money in their pockets. Clean Mr Singh was seen to be beyond all the muck that the “system” was seeped in.

Post the 2G, CWG and Adarsh housing scams in UPA-II, this umbilical chord bond between Manmohan and the middle-class has broken, writes Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr in DNA:

“In the beginning the middle class saw Singh as an honest man who had nothing to do with the political quagmire surrounding him. From 1991 to 1996, it was P.V. Narasimha Rao who was the villain of all the things that went wrong….

“Even during his first term as prime minister, Singh was spared the criticism. The sharpest criticism of the main opposition party, the BJP, was that he was weak and ineffective and not his own man.

“By the end of 2010, the scandals and corruption that overwhelmed the UPA-II, and friends of Singh were not willing to give him the privilege of being a non-political prime minister anymore. In an abrupt turnaround, they are now pinning the blame on the man for pervasive corruption.

“There are two reasons for this. For the first time, the middle class is feeling the pain of market economy in recession. It is bitter and angry and in an irrational manner thinks the PM is somehow responsible for its economic anxieties arising out of the 2008 market meltdown.

“Corruption comes in handy to nail Singh at last. They are not willing to accept that an honest man cannot do much to fight the corruption around him on his own. They are now convinced that he had the power to prevent corruption and remove the persons responsible for it, without realising that then he would be bringing the roof down upon himself and his party, if he does so.”

Cartoon: courtesy Thomas Anton

Read the full article: The middle-class turns away from the PM

Also read: Why our silly middle-class loves Narendra Modi

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