Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s interaction with TV editors where he made it clear he won’t quit and would serve full term is a message for his own Congress party and ambitious colleagues who are eyeing his chair.
AICC officials, who closely followed the 70 minute Q&A between top editors, say the PM won’t accept blame for anything because “I might have committed mistakes but I am not the culprit” for the series of scams tumbling out of the UPA’s cupboard. Singh won’t take responsibility for the sins of ex-Telecom Minister because he was under compulsions of “coalition politics.”
Singh also sought to nail as “the lie” the buzz in the Congress circles that it was he who was opposing a joint parliamentary committee(JPC) probe into scams. When Pranab Mukherjee is trying to reach out to Opposition leaders to ensure normal session of Parliament from February 21, Congress managers are worried that the PM’s fresh offensive against the BJP, by accusing it of blackmail, may spark new problems. BJP chief Nitin Gadkari was quick to retort, “to link our demand for JPC to the case against a Gujarat minister (read Amit Shah in Soharabudin encounter case) is a laughable matter.”
On the S-band spectrum, the PM’s defence was very clear that nothing had happened to suggest a scam involving his PMO. For the ambitious Cabinet ministers, Singh didn’t mince words. “I have a job to do…I am not a lame duck PM.” But where the PM was lost in words was that when he compared subsidies for the poor with concessions enjoyed by the companies that benefitted in the 2G scam.