- Since Manmohan is an RS member without a mass base, the BJP finds it easy to target his “weak” leadership
- As he is perceived to not enjoy the full support of his own party, it’s confident he won’t hit back at its barbs
- The inclusion of corrupt ministers and his silence on the scams have encouraged charges of indifference
- Galloping inflation makes it easy for Left to punch holes in his reputation as top-notch economist. Good governance has become a joke in BJP eyes.
- Many in the Congress see his pro-reforms policies as running against the socialist agenda of the party
- Although he was the urban face on the ’09 poll posters, his diminishing image has little utility for them in 2014
- Has sparred with National Advisory Council (NAC) headed by Sonia Gandhi on food security and other issues
- Partymen reluctant to defend him. Ministers like Chidambaram speak openly of “governance deficit”.
The Corporate Sector
- Despite his pro-reforms image, has done little to remove environment ministry hurdles stalling major projects
- Foreign investors wary of putting their money into projects in an environment of scams and uncertainty
- Tapping of phones of top corporate honchos by the government seen as invasion of privacy
- Drive against black money and Swiss bank accounts could deter investors, affect market sentiment and impact the India story
Middle Class/Aam Aadmi
- Values growth at all costs. Has done little to assuage aam aadmi on price rise except to issue periodic assurances.
- “What use is Mr Clean’s personal integrity if he seeks shelter under ‘coalition dharma’ for all the ills?”
- Has not effectively implemented rural development schemes while general governance goes for a toss
- Is aloof, does not communicate clearly and directly with them on core issues. There is no “connect” even in the present media-saturated polity.
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