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Updated: April 3, 2013 01:01 IST

Sonia-Manmohan model valid for future: Congress

Smita Gupta
Comment (21)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi
The Hindu
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi

Congress spokesperson Janardan Dwivedi says having two centres of authority

The debate on the efficacy of the twin centres of authority model — Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi as Congress president — took a fresh turn on Tuesday when Janardan Dwivedi officially debunked fellow general secretary Digvijay Singh’s recent comment that the model had failed.

“The relationship which exists between the Congress president and the Prime Minister is unique and their camaraderie cannot be replaced easily,” Mr. Dwivedi stressed, adding, “(it is) something which has never been seen before, and perhaps this should be the ideal model for the future also.”

When Mr. Singh publicly uttered what most Congressmen have been privately saying, as the Manmohan Singh-led regime enters its tenth year, it was interpreted as a snub to a growing array of prime ministerial aspirants — all those who aspired to be Rahul Gandhi’s Manmohan. Mr. Gandhi had never said, Mr Singh also stressed, that he did not wish to be Prime Minister, only that he wanted to focus on strengthening the party organisation for the moment.

Strong endorsement

Party sources said that while Mr. Singh was expressing the views of a significant section of Congressmen — that Dr. Singh’s helming of the government had failed them — Mr. Dwivedi’s strong and unequivocal endorsement of the twin centres of power experiment was the “official” line. “We still have one more year to go and we cannot afford publicly to undermine our Prime Minister,” said a Congress functionary.

Indeed, an answer that the Prime Minister gave journalists on March 29, on board a special flight, as he journeyed back from the BRICS conference in Durban, was given a fresh spin on Tuesday. When Dr. Singh dismissed as hypothetical a question whether he would accept a third term if the UPA was in a position to form the government in 2014, saying, “We will cross that bridge when we reach there,” it was interpreted in the media as meaning that he wished to be PM for a third term. The Congress did nothing to correct that impression, but now senior party sources are saying Dr Singh responded correctly: “That was the right answer — anything else would have created uncertainty, something the government cannot afford in the run-up to the polls.”

Within the party, especially among the younger set, there is now a growing feeling that if the Congress emerges as the single largest party again — even if that is 150-160 — and forms the government for a third time at the head of a UPA coalition, Mr. Gandhi must be pushed into taking charge.

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The concept of two centers of power, as accepted by Congress
spokesperson, is not feasible in long run, in any format of system.
Rise of clashes between two centers are unavoidable. Previously,
party president did criticize, advice their government head but never
interfered in their work directly. Other modes to influence and
affect government policies and work were used. But in present
scenario a power center is superior to head of the government, which
is not advising but mentoring the head of government. This worked for
nine long years comfortably as one center is surrendering its power
to other one. And the bad thing is power gaining center is not that
one which was decided by framer of our constitution.

from:  Anupam Anish
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 16:35 IST

The Hindu should refrain from publishing scam articles such as these.
The Manmohan-Sonia model as it is fondly called is a mockery of the
constitutional scheme of things, that of of the Prime Minister as the
one who is the elected representative of the people (indirect) being the
decision maker, subject to aid and advise of course. In the interest of
political affiliations, families such as the Gandhi family should not be
allowed to put its foot on the Prime Ministers chair.

from:  Abhilash
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 14:13 IST

The problem is that the whole world knows that Manmohan is a puppet and Sonia is pulling the strings. If Manmohan is good at the economy then make him the Business secretary, he projects a very weak and feeble image to the world and India's foreign policy is suffering, India is suffering from terror. India needs a brave and strong PM who can instill fear in the likes of Pak authorities, then Mumbai 26/11 will not be repeated.

from:  Vida
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 14:06 IST

What has the President of a political party in power to do with government actions
unless he or she is a minister in the government. What does the Congress party mean
when it says that there are dual points of authority ? Will this mean, for example ,
budget papers are shown to Sonia Gandhi before presenting the budget to parliament?
Will this also mean that secret military matters are also being discussed with
Mrs.Gandhi? Does the Constitution provide for dual points of authority in the country's
governance? Why aren't the print and electronic media asking such questions?

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 13:58 IST

Should the head of the Indian Govt be a "puppet on a string"?

from:  D Mahapatra
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 12:26 IST


Manmohan Singh obviously had to satisfy a large block of congress members who believe only the Nehru clan should be the PM. Among some sections, Nehru clan is very popular. But it appears Manmohan Singh would have succeeded better if he had his legs not chained by Sonia. While Sonia has managed her job as Congress president deftly with the help of her sidekicks, it is just a matter of conjecture whether she or her son Rahul could handle being the PM. They have never managed even a Government Department. A political party post is hugely different from the top administrative job in the country. I have nothing against Rahul/Sonia, but I don't think they should automatically get the post when they feel like it; they owe it to the country to show first that they have the capability to handle that job. Any amateurish activity at that level could cost India very dearly and the country cannot afford that risk.

India fortunately has many talented leaders who can do that job well.

from:  Kris Murthy
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 12:20 IST

The English introduced dyarchy in 1919 in India.The present system
is analogous to the dyarchy with the Mrs Sonia Gandhi having unbridled
power sans responsibility.This model has off course done wonders for the
ruling congress party as it would shield the first family from all the
muck of the scams.The only sufferer is naturally the nation.But then,WHO
CARES!

from:  vanit
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 12:16 IST

The party should be different from the government and the power centers
of the political party and the government should be different people.
This is correct.

What is unconstitutional about it. We do not want absolute power resting
with one person in a parlimentary democracy.

from:  Ajay
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 12:04 IST

Mr Digvijay Singh has talked sense for the first time in his life, but got bashing from his own party. Bad luck Mr Digvijay !

from:  Amit
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 11:41 IST

What this country needs and what it has got after a long time is a prime minister who understands the ecnomics and knows how to turn it inside. Dr. Manmohan Singh has that intelligence and definately we can't underplay the role and benefits and importance of a Prime minister who has thorough knowledge of Economics and markets.

from:  Harpinder
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 11:36 IST

Congress should try to evolve beyond family politics. The Manmohan -Sonia model serves the interests of a particular family but not the country.

from:  Vijay Raina
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 11:23 IST

One who is more powerful and popular whether he is the Party President of the Prime Minister, rules the roost in India.Either Ms.Sonia should become Prime Minister or Mr.Manmohan Sigh shoud be more powerful than the Congress President with absolute majority in Parliament. If there is absolute majority for the Congress then there won't be any place of Manmohansinghs for PM position and it will be Gandhi family all the way! As the Cogress is jittery about its winning the Parliament elections of 2014,there is rethinking about the role of MM! Who can save India? The people!

from:  R.M.Murthy
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 11:04 IST

Dear Hindu,
One really doubts,if this model will work.
Either of two could not prove prove their real potential because of compulsions.The only way is to have hands on experience and do on'e karma without fear or favour!

from:  asheesh dimmmrrii
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 10:53 IST

What does Mr. Trivedi want to declare to this Nation when he says ‘the twin centres of authority model’ is “ideal model for the future also”? Which model does he suggest apart from constitutionally given-one? The people are not sure whether “the model” has failed as Mr. Digvijay Singh hints, or, will be ideal one as Mr. Trivedi sells, but certainly it has done an irreparable damage to Indian Democracy. Such shadow-power play has tarnished the very ethos of Parliamentarian-Republic political set-up in the making of democratic government. The people of this country do not want to have a ‘powerless’ Prime Minister and ‘an all powerful’ political dynasty- that is a constitutional monarchy. Democracy in today’s India is stranded; the only way to rescue and improve it further is to equip it with more powerful tools of the people such as ‘Right to Recall’ and enacting a law of no-second chance in elections to corruption-ridden political and dynastic parties.

from:  A.Kannan
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 10:43 IST

The Congress party is telling the world through the mouth of Gandhi family faithfuls
what the world already knows which is the fact that the Congress party and any
government it runs on its own or in coalition with other parties will be formed and run
only according to the wishes of Sonia Gandhi and her son. The least the print and
electronic media in India should do on behalf of the people of this country is to remind
the Congress party that India is a "democracy" and not a family estate.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 10:40 IST

better if both take rest and let someone good to rule
they have ruined enough

from:  Vineeth
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 10:39 IST

two centers of authority? Who are we kidding??

from:  gopal
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 10:14 IST

Model may be good for congress but not the country. For the country to prosper Manmohan Singh should have unrestricted power with necessary mandate in Parliament.

from:  Partha
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 10:09 IST

Mr.Singh is definitely a good & intelligent person, but he is not a
successful P.M., he himself said, he would only give 60% marks for his
first term as P.M. and I think he got failed in his second term!

It would have been much better (for India and Congress), if Ms.Sonia
directly took P.M. seat instead of having some-one on behalf of her.

from:  Srihari
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 10:02 IST

There is
no accountability for Sonia in making decision process but she will
give direction to Dr.MMS. The irony is that an Eminent Economist is
seeking advice from Madam Sonia . I think
Janardhan is equating the twin power centre as Rajya Sabha with Lok
Sabha where members of eminent field get RS seat will give their
expert advice for the benefit of people of the country whereas here it
is the expert seeking advice from novice.

from:  N.Swaminathan
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 09:48 IST

This is unconstitutional model undermining the authority of prime
minister. Every Indian knows real power centre and what PM Manmohan
Singh is doing. Todays cartoon in the Hindu depicted real picture of the
PM

from:  Nitin Patil
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 09:22 IST
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