After tearing down every one of Manmohan Singh‘s ministers, “Team Anna” has trained its guns on the prime minister himself, calling him “shikhandi“, accusing him of turning a blind eye while his colleagues were making merry, and charging him of presiding over the coal scam.
In a piece in The Hindu, Singh’s former media advisor Harish Khare offers a backhanded defence of his ex-boss:
“Manmohan Singh is not corrupt, but he is definitely guilty. He can be easily charged — along with his political partner, Sonia Gandhi — of pursing a politics of decency and of elevating reconciliation to a matter of state policy to the extent of avoiding confrontation; a luxury, statecraft does not permit a prime minister.
“Manmohan Singh is guilty of making the grievously erroneous assessment that Mob Anna was just a bunch of well-meaning civil society busybodies; he is guilty of not seeing through their incurable political agenda.
“Manmohan Singh is guilty of not being ruthless enough to crack open the Nira Radia tape case, a rogue operation carried by unscrupulous corporate elements.
“Manmohan Singh is guilty of not marshalling the intellectual and policy arguments to tell the nation that Vinod Rai‘s maximalist interpretation of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG)’s mandate has dangerously undermined the constitutional structure of equilibrium.
“Above all, Manmohan Singh is guilty of pursuing the noble quest for reconciliation at the expense of another maxim of statecraft: those who spurn the public authority’s hand of reconciliation must be made to learn the cost of confrontation. He is guilty of not learning the lesson from the mid-1970s and early 1990s when mobs were allowed to overwhelm the democratic institutions and their liberal ethos.”
Read the full article: Guilty on many counts, not corrupt