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Has Sonia Gandhi-Manmohan Singh equation as a team ended?
The growing differences between Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, particularly with regard to several policy initiatives, indicate an imminent necessity for Congress to change the leadership at the Center in near future.
The SIX-year old trusted political equation between Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh is said to be under pressure. Since the revival of National Advisory Council (NAC), headed by Sonia Gandhi, early this month, the Prime Minister is not comfortable with her growing interest in the governance of the country.


All these six years, perfect understanding was maintained among these two power centers. While Sonia Gandhi looking after political issues of Congress-led UPA Government; Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh was given free hand with regard to the affairs of the government. But the growing interest shown by Sonia Gandhi in the governance seems to be widening the gap between the two political titans.
 
At this juncture, the revival of NAC is seen as Sonia Gandhi’s efforts to take control over the administration on her own to pave way for the coronation of her son Rahul Gandhi as Prime Minister. In 2004, after Congress success in the general elections and being elected as its leader in the Lok Sabha, Sonia Gandhi surprisingly had chosen Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister.

Again, just before 2009 elections, there were speculations in the political circles that after the elections Rahul Gandhi will take over the seat of Prime Ministership. However, while addressing the media jointly with Manmohan Singh, by addressing him as `Our Prime Minister’ she pushed out all such speculations.

 
These incidents reflected her faith on Manmohan Singh and helped to get an image of `super sacrificer of power’. However, since few months she is trying to influence the governance of the country. Writing letters to the Prime Minister suggesting amendments in the Right to Information Act, knowing well that Manmohan Singh was against it and writing to the cabinet suggesting some key inputs in the Food Security Bill, which were not accepted in view of additional financial burden they would cause.
 
Manmohan Singh was reportedly unhappy with the Congress party’s silence over his initiative to bring Nuclear Liability Bill in the Parliament, just before his visit to the United States. When the entire opposition was against the Bill, he was forced to lead a lonely battle. As many as 36 Congress MPs, including some ministers were absent in the Parliament on this occasion.

But Sonia Gandhi has shown over enthusiam to get the clearance of the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha by getting support from many opposition parties and deploying marshals to prevent Yadavas from obstructing the proceedings.

 
Since his tenure as Prime Minister in 2004 started, Manmohan Singh is taking all due care avoiding the media focus on himself. He has hardly given any full-length interview for any news paper or news channel. He is also not happy with the attitude of some ministers, who did not cooperate with him.
 
According to the sources, among the ministers who hold key portfolios, only Home Minister P. Chidambaram interacts with the Prime Minister on a regular basis on all major policy issues. While all other ministers are trying to show that they are more loyal to `madam’ than the prime minister.
 
Manmohan Singh was upset when AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh had written an article questioning Chidambaram’s anti-Maoists policy at a time when the government was facing crisis following 76 CRPF jawans massacre in Chhattiasgarh.
 
The growing differences between Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, particularly with regard to several policy initiatives, indicate an imminent necessity for the Congress party to go for a leadership change at the Center in near future. Whether Rahul Gandhi will be allowed to lead the nation or some intermediate arrangement will be preferred, is yet to be seen.




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manmohan singh
(2071 Articles)
p. chidambaram
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rahul gandhi
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