Manmohan Singh Bows Out As PM After 10 Years

New Delhi
Manmohan Singh Bows Out As PM After 10 Years

Manmohan Singh, the accidental politician who came from an economic background, demitted office as Prime Minister today after 10 years at the helm leaving behind a mixed bag in governance.

Huge scams that surfaced during UPA II may have undone the good work of the 81-year-old leader, who had achieved the distinction of serving two continuous full terms as Prime Minister, the only one to do so after the first PM Jawaharlal Nehru's 17 years in office.

Architect of economic reforms, he entered politics at the height of the 1991 economic crisis when late Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao inducted him into the government as Finance Minister.

Together they lifted the economy out of the balance of payments crisis and then paved the way for the economic reforms on which no successive government has looked back.

A technocrat who had occupied various positions including as Reserve Bank Governor and Secretary General of the South-South Commission, he had earned a name for probity and integrity that made him the automatic choice for Sonia Gandhi when she decided to renounced the post of Prime Minister.

Taking over as Prime Minister from the NDA government in the aftermath of the 2002 post-Godhra riots and a surcharged communal atmosphere, Singh's administration brought in a sense of balance in the situation.

Despite pulls and pressures from allies, especially the Left parties, Singh displayed considerable determination to go ahead with the Indo-US nuclear deal and to end the sanctions regime against India even unmindful of the threats to his government.

A renowned economist, his governments also delivered a robust 8.5 per cent GDP growth for most of his tenure but the scams--2G, CWG and Coal block allocations--and the resultant policy paralysis of the government stymied his performance.

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