Manmohan Singh turns 89: Nation marks birthday of former prime minister
Sunday, September 26, marks the 89th birthday of former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh, who was in office for two consecutive terms and who was the first Sikh to hold the top post in the country. Singh, the brain behind the 1991 economic reforms as the Union finance minister under then prime minister PV Narasimha Rao, was a surprise choice of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) after it won the 2004 general elections by defeating the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
On his birthday, his party, the Congress, took to Twitter to wish the celebrated economist, dedicating several posts to the Rajya Sabha MP. “The words of Dr Manmohan Singh exemplify the vision of a true Indian leader. Today, as we celebrate his birthday, we renew our commitment to uphold the idea of India,” the party said in one of its tweets.
“A visionary. A devoted patriot, A man of his words. Dr Manmohan Singh, you are the leader India truly deserves. The Congress party and the entire nation cherishes you and your immense contributions, everyday and today. Thank you for everything you've done,” it said in another tweet
“His unbridled commitment to India's progress, right from the time of being finance minister to the prime minister to even today, has benefitted every Indian to an unimaginable scale,” the Sonia Gandhi-headed party said in yet another post.
Born on September 26, 1932, in Gah in Punjab in British India (present-day Punjab in Pakistan), Singh, who was the 13th PM, held various important political and non-political portfolios throughout his career. From 1982 to 1985, he was the governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and, from 1985 to 1987, was the deputy chairperson of the Planning Commission. In 1991, he was appointed as the chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC).
Singh's term as prime minister came to an end in 2014, when the BJP, under his successor and incumbent PM Narendra Modi, won general elections that year. In fact, he was among the first to congratulate Modi on the latter's win.