Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has been lauded for his pivotal role in liberalising the Indian economy, has been dubbed as an "underachiever" by a top US magazine, which says he appears "unwilling to stick his neck out" on reforms that will put the country back on growth path.
Singh, 79, is featured on the cover of Time magazine's Asia edition, which will be out next week. With his portrait in the background, the title on the cover reads 'The Underachiever — India needs a reboot'.
Is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh up to the job?' Time's report titled 'A Man in Shadow' asks, adding that apart from facing the challenges of a slowdown in economic growth, huge fiscal deficit and a falling rupee, India’s Congress party-led UPA coalition "has found itself fending off corruption scandals...."
"....investors are beginning to get cold feet. Voters too are losing confidence, as rising inflation and a litany of scandals chip away at the government’s credibility," the magazine said.
Pointing towards Singh's fall "from grace," the magazine said, "in the past three years, the calm confidence he (Singh) once radiated has been absent. He seems unable to control his ministers and — his new, temporary portfolio at the finance ministry notwithstanding — unwilling to stick his neck out on reforms...”
Cong slams article
The Congress strongly countered the magazine’s article. “In the past eight years the UPA government headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has provided political stability, social harmony, internal cohesion, economic growth and a greater role in global affairs. This by no stretch of imagination is under achievement,” party spokesman Manish Tewari said.