New Delhi: It’s almost certain to be the most closely-watched makeover in India.
After criticism from the Opposition and apparently from a section from within his own party, Dr Manmohan Singh will start sharing his opinions on the stands that he and the government hold on issues of national importance. His mode of communication will be through meetings with news editors, the first of which is scheduled for today.
With the Opposition accusing the government and Dr Manmohan Singh of a “governance deficit,” sources in the Congress say the party wants to convey that its leaders are not on the defensive. At a recent meeting of the Congress Working Committee, many party members reportedly stressed that the PM’s reputation and image as one of the country’s most honest leaders should be better employed. They suggested that by being more open and more visible, Dr Singh could convey his government’s determination to fighting the corruption that many feel is now ubiquitous among practitioners of power.
The last few months have seen Dr Singh’s government functioning in a continuum of crises. Financial scandals have tumbled out of the offices of some senior ministers. And the high-volume debate over the Lokpal Bill – which has headlined the summer – has left people asking why the Prime Minister isn’t offering his opinion on what sort of Bill the government plans to introduce to check corruption.