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Updated: May 15, 2013 12:59 IST
News Analysis

TINA factor works for Manmohan

Smita Gupta
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Assam would re-nominate Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for another term in the Rajya Sabha, ensuring his membership of the Upper House till 2019.
The Hindu Assam would re-nominate Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for another term in the Rajya Sabha, ensuring his membership of the Upper House till 2019.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, accompanied by Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, will fly to Assam on Wednesday to file his nomination papers for another term in the Rajya Sabha, ensuring his membership of the Upper House till 2019, the same term the next elected government will get, making him eligible for a third term as PM — if the UPA government succeeds in getting another five years.

That, Congress sources stressed, should end the speculation that has been swirling around in the capital since Saturday of a disagreement between Dr. Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi over the exit of two Cabinet Ministers, and the likelihood of a new Prime Minister.

So much so that on two successive days Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi was compelled to publicly deny the existence of a rift between the two leaders, even as he firmly asserted that Dr. Singh would remain Prime Minister till 2014. “We refute such rumours and malicious campaign. No new decision has to be made in this matter,” Mr. Dwivedi said on Monday when asked whether Rahul Gandhi could replace Dr. Singh before the monsoon session of Parliament, later this year, stressing, “Whenever there was a need, the party has said in clear terms that Manmohan Singh will be Prime Minister till 2014. That is the position today also.”

Of course, it is true that as the next general elections draw near, the government’s inability to prevent a slew of financial scandals, rising prices and social protests over a rash of crimes against women from taking political centre stage has made the party’s Lok Sabha MPs queasy. There is a growing resentment against the leadership — that neither the government nor the party is doing enough to help them get re-elected. So, there were voices raised privately, for instance, against the party leadership for waiting until after the budget session of Parliament had ended and Siddaramaiah was safely elected CLP leader in Karnataka — the latter the first piece of good news in months for the party — to dump two Ministers whom party MPs saw as a liability.

But, while changing the Prime Minister could certainly change the optics, the fact is, as the Congress sources themselves point out, the TINA (there is no alternative) factor works in favour of Dr. Singh. The obvious — and most acceptable — alternative within the party is Mr. Gandhi, but the young vice-president has made it clear that he does not wish to replace Dr. Singh at this stage. If one sets that name aside, then, party sources say, there is no other name that will be acceptable to both the Congress and its allies — and that Ms. Gandhi simply cannot impose anyone else. Finally, these sources stress that Dr. Singh’s nine consecutive years in power — on May 22, the UPA government will celebrate its ninth anniversary — have been marked by stability, something not to be knocked.

In the current case, the sources say that while Ms. Gandhi did want the Ministers to be dropped from the outset, there was also a sense that this should not be done while Parliament was on and that nothing should be done to cast a shadow over Karnataka elections. The party was also concerned that it should not appear as if it was buckling under Opposition pressure. That, they say, is the quintessential Congress style of doing things.

Over the last nine years, the equation between Ms. Gandhi and Dr. Singh, and the division of labour have been discussed almost continuously — and not just in political circles. If that division of labour worked better in UPA I, it was also because it was a period in which the Congress appeared to have done no wrong, despite the exit of the Left parties over the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal issue.

In 2004, when Ms. Gandhi made Dr. Singh Prime Minister, there was some heartburn in the party, but in 2009, when the Congress increased its score by over 50 seats, and some of the credit for the party’s fine showing went to him, there was a fair amount of resentment among those who were PM-aspirants.

But in a party, where power is centralised, the buck stops with Ms. Gandhi. Her choice remains Dr. Singh, and no one as yet is about to challenge that choice — not until 2014.

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A Country with a billion people, a political party of over 100 years, the world's largest democracy > now is headed by a particular person, because of the TINA factor > THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE !!!

from:  V. VEDAGIRI
Posted on: May 16, 2013 at 09:12 IST

india needs some change.......we dont need any politician ..we just need a
better person to be a part of our government and may lead our nation to
meet oue future endevours....

from:  janmaijaya sahu
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 22:52 IST

If you say that in country of 1.2 billion,80 year old Manmohan Singh,becomes the TINA factor for PM's job,with a history of scams,
then, God save our country.

from:  G.Narayanaswamy
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 22:13 IST

Yes,the party may not have an alternative.Who else will silently carry
out the dictates of party high command?His loyalty to party chief is
unparalleled.Forget the never ending scams and the cover up attempts.Who
else can recite the Urdu couplets?

from:  S.Srinivasan
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 19:21 IST

I totally agree. Although we are criticizing the government but we
should also be aware government did exceptionally good work when it
come to economy inspite of global recession . Silently without coming
into highlight we have maintained growth rate around 6 % which itself is
achievement. Also MGNREGA, RTI. Right to Education, Food security Bill
shows government is committed for social inclusion. I doubt any
government can perform better than UPA in difficult situation. My best
wishes for UPA-III

from:  Rohit
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 17:01 IST

TINA - There Is No Alternative???

Do you mean to say that a nation of 1.2 billion people does not have a single person who is PM material and who can be an alternative to MMS?

Sorry state of affairs, indeed. What do you say?

from:  Agar N
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 16:18 IST

Oh God. Please give my people the wisdom to understand what this Govt. and its people has done to the nation and please make them vote for the change.

from:  Siju Jose
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 16:00 IST

It seems that India is stuck with Congress for life. The day Rahul
Gandhi becomes Indian PM, the country will be doomed. But the day
Congress party is dissolved, every Indian will move forward towards a
better change.

If the Congress party had any code of ethics left it would not mind
stepping down from the mantle and accede to majority public's wish of
a new governance. But its apparent that their interest is not in sync
with the Nation's interest.

India needs a BIG change in Government & Governance.

from:  rejani
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 15:03 IST

Dr Manmohan Singh's achievements cannot be belittled with regard to the
policies for the social sector.The schemes like MNREGA and RTI though
not realized with full potential have affected lives of many in a
positive way.Economic policies of his government has ensured that we
still have a path to robust recovery.If he can be more tough in bringing
transparency in matters related to allocation of natural resources then
it will be very good

from:  Ashwin
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 14:22 IST

TINA factor is affecting our Govt also! Once we elect a bad party to
form a government, there is no alternative but to suffer mutely! This
happened many times earlier also. NDA govt with all its good
performance was voted out thinking UPA will improve. But in reality its
performance in Ist term {now come to light} and IInd term from
beginning have become intolerable. But what can we do, except write
pages and pages criticizing. That is all. And that is what UPA also
needs! It is dreadful to think of UPA III! And to cap the nightmare,
MMS for IIIrd term!God save the country!!

from:  SARANATHAN
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 14:01 IST

He is the most eligible person for the post, in UPA. Congress has
shown to the world that the loot of any magnitude can take place but
not getting out of power. This is possible only when the top
leadership is clean. "Under his able" leadership its allies and party
people merrily loot the nation as he allows it to happen. So, can any
one in Congress or its allies, esp, say NO to him? On the other hand,
the main opp party is very much divided - they may not even nominate
PM candidate before election. And therefore, the people should be
ready for another 5 yr term of MMS and many more entertaining
scams....

from:  Sasi
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 13:33 IST

Dear The Hindu(self proclaimed national newspaper)

Though media is 4th pillar of democracy,yet it is giving importance to such stupid
matter
Start raising questions pertinent to society

Morover on the backdrop of so much impotency shown by our pm(maun mohan).if ppl
again vote for congress then it ll be defeat of morality of indians.

May God save our Country

from:  Mohit
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 13:30 IST

One must not mistake that PM is elected. His election is a formality,
since he has blessings from the family. He has been nominated to the
PM post and is not answerable to public. His performance review is
based on his loyalty shown to the family and his ability to stay low
profile. Since, he is a mere rubber stamp, we now have a situation,
where the country is running in remote control with both PM and
President being mute spectators to bad things happening. We need
leaders who can inspire the country and motivate it to go in the right
direction. Unfortunately, there is dearth of such leaders, since
Congress doesnot allow such leaders to come to fore and BJP will
create infighting to ensure that such leaders do not get limelight.

from:  murthy
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 13:26 IST

Is Congress so bereft of leaders so as to say the TINA factor comes into play? On MMS credebility...

1. Under his regeime....Most damaging scandals have happened. As a leader, he does not take responsibility.

2. He is not a leader of masses....hence kind of inelligible to the PM. The rajya Sabha route is convienent...but that is under-cutting democracy.

3. MMS is a convenient scapegoat for all the ills in the congress. He is a dressed turkey for the thanksgiving dinner at Congress Headquarters.

from:  Srinivas
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 13:12 IST

It doesn't really matter, does it ? If you look around the whole political spectrum, it's only the chaff that's around and no wheat ! The progress that has been made over last decade or so, was not because of political leadership but despite. China - all considered - is way ahead of us ! What we need is a "game changer" of the caliber of, say, Kemal Ataturk or Deng Xiaoping who will abolish all old structures, convince people to accept daring changes etc etc. What India needs is not progress but a metamorphosis. Unfortunately no such leader is in sight...alas !

from:  Gandharv
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 13:08 IST

There is no PM like Mr.Singh who was not elected by directly by people. Because he is always elected from RS, not by public.

from:  satheeshkumar shenoi
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 12:59 IST

Congress is doubtful of coming back to power even after their victory in Karnataka and if it wins Dr MM, can not become PM once again, since there is a waitling of Rahul becoming unproclaimed Leader of the ruling party or if BJP wins even by a margin of Non congress group, MR.Narendra Modi may come as PM candidate with the support of all provided Biju Patnaik supports or become deputy PM.Hoepfully, people also want a change.

from:  vaidya
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 12:35 IST

Congress is the only national party with secular look. India needs to be a secular country in letter and spirit.
The other alternative BJP is not at all secular. I think that party should give up non-secular path. Then only it should think of leading India to a better future.

from:  karunakaran
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 12:24 IST

There is no progress made in the last 9 years. Government may be stable but I hardly see any progress made in any field be it in commerce, science or medicine. Headlines read only about scams, Rapes, arrests , bomb blasts and attacks. Its been a long time I heard some achievement made and though there are , it will be shaddowed by scams. Is it in our Constitution to do things or make things slower? There is soo much brain drain happening , not progressing technologically , we should know the 'know-how' of the technology , be it in defence technology or any sceintific issues. Everything imported will not make INDIA powerful . We should stop begging and make our own things . We have that and we have people too. This can all happen only if the Government and governance is good.

from:  Manoj Satyanarayan
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 12:23 IST

India needs urgent amendment to restrick a person cannot become a Prime minister for more than twice , like in USA .Unfortunately the law maker will not favor this amendment .

from:  karthi
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 12:22 IST

Very good thing Manmohan Singh can do is to say NO to any position in the coming govt (if at all they come to power). will he do that ? if he does, then the UPA will be in shambles. They need a scapegoat or "YES man" who will obey to the party. Look at the way he works. He has absolutely no voice. all crap people can give media interviews, then why not Prime minister. If American president can give weekly massage in radio, why cannot in India ? I hope and wish the UPA will not come to power because of all those scandles. I as a citizen want to see a clean govt at the center which transcends a good vibes among all of us young generation of India. Who can do this ? I really don't know.

from:  ramesh
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 12:21 IST

100 % no chance at all. Manmohan is just for the sake of name as PM, nothing else.

from:  Indian Citizen
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 12:17 IST

Dear The Hindu,

You are a national newspaper of India, not a gossip magazine.

Media should raise questions pertinent to India, not to a political party or individual.

Your job as the 4th pillar of democracy is to raise tough questions to the other three.

from:  Abhinav
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 12:17 IST

Its sad to see present options selecting the leader of this great nation ends in a sorry note. No party seems to have some one who can win trust of the people nor can be seen as a torchbearer in future. The Lady justice seems to be evenly balanced with scams, and molestation cases on one side & pogrom, ethical inequality on the other.

from:  udayan
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 12:09 IST

as rightly mentioned that congress may be inundated with scores of pm
aspirants but there seems no one as impeccable as Manmohan. Its
premature to comment on the next would be PM since in the backdrop of
various scandals and scams, congress political future looks patchy.
Though karnataka as an exception where congress stormed to power ,
the rest of the India will speak a different tone in the next
elections. Whole country is taking stock of the present political
scenario and congress is not able to position itself as a leading
party. marred by scams , indicted of interfering in the autonomous
establishments and not taking concrete actions to revive economy ,
congress is heading towards doom . PM clean image also have been at
stake hence it would not be incorrect that congress chances as a
leading party in the upcoming elections are slim ,,,,,,,

from:  neeraj bhatt
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 12:09 IST

The right questions media should raise is: Will INDIA get a BETTER and effective PM next time?
The question I want to raise to media is: Will media graduate from political parties and personalities and think about INDIA?

I am sick of seeing brazen concerns about the political parties only. We are already late - hence take up issues which are impacting INDIA and not which is impacting congress, Manmohan, or Sonia or Rahul...

from:  Avinash Baranwal
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 11:32 IST

Read my lips-"congress will be defeated in 2014".This is my conclusion
based on the happenings at the centre.
I am a congressman, though.

from:  manoharan
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 11:30 IST

The headline is itself so scary.

from:  Vijay Vikram Singh
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 11:28 IST

These kind of articles make me really sad and depressed! In this nation of so many
people with talent and goodwill, all we can put forth is the usual bunch of
preselected Tweedledees or Tweedledums. For a newspaper of Hindu's calibre to promulgate such views is
totally unconscionable.

from:  G Parameswaran
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 11:23 IST

It is really sad that we are still thinking of ManmohanJi as PM assuming Congress will come to power again despite the fact that we have seen so many scandals in a short span of time and that too of the size of lakhs of crore.If the country still votes in favour of congress then it will not be Congress Win but it will be defeat of morality in India.

from:  ManojKaushal
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 11:17 IST

Dr. Manmohan Singh is the only person in India who will become Prime Minister of India after the next Lok Sabha polls. The reason being he never speaks. This is his best quality. On the other hand there is no political party to challenge Dr.ManmohanSingh. One can say BJP may pose a challenge but this is a party of intellectuals who are more interested in debating on TV channels. Their Central leaders behave as conspirators who work against the interest of their own leaders of their own party in States. Itis always Shanta Kumar vs Dhumal, BSY Vs. Anant Kumar, Khanduri vs.Ramesh, Jaswant Singh vs Vasundhara, Advani-Yashwant Sinha Vs. Arjun Munda, Rajnath Vs.Kalyan Singh etc etc.

from:  SC Aggarwal
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 11:11 IST

Congress is absolutely confident about its landslide defeat in the
coming lok sabha elections. Hence Sonia Gandhi does not want to nominate
Rahul Gandhi's name as probable PM for the next term, for it will create
a huge blot on his political career. Dr. Singh here is being made the
fall guy

from:  Jeevan Shetty
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 11:06 IST

NO ....NOT AGAIN

from:  NEERAJ
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 11:04 IST

Though Mr.Singh is an honest person, but now his clear image has also been questioned a no. of time......and also 9 yr is a long time....now people should give chance to a new personality...

from:  vartika dhyani
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 11:02 IST

In my previous comment I forget to add one more attribute for the Prime Ministeral appointee - should have no ambition. Most of the congressmen fit the bill but Chidambaram's seniority should win him the post.

from:  mani sandilya
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 11:00 IST

Oh GOD.... This is more than enough....

from:  Sumod Nair
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 10:56 IST

There is no need to replace Mr.Singh as his control vested in the hand of Sonia,this situation remain same if party replace Pminister.

from:  jiten
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 09:59 IST

Is our democracy with 100 crore plus people in such a pathetic situation? Is there a real
scarcity of real leaders in our country? Sorry, I can't take it any
more...

from:  Deepak
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 09:52 IST

GOD save India.

from:  S.Subramanian
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 09:47 IST

With the Congress High Command swearing by the two-power-model as a proven
one, destined to remain for all time to come for the party, Dr Manmohan Singh
stands a very good chance for being nominated once again as Prime Minister by Mrs
Sonia Gandhi and Mr Rahul Gandhi, unless they are able to find another more
amenable congress person without a mass base from amongst Dalits or muslim
community. If someone else could be found, it would undoubtedly be a jackpot for
High Command from many counts. However, the entire speculation is subject to
Congress led UPA finding favor with the electorate in 2014.

from:  KS Raghunathan
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 09:32 IST

No way. it is likely Dr. Abdul Kalam once again. Dr. Singh may be not corrupt but tainted by corruption. it is better let it be the last time as pm.

from:  RAVISHANKAR
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 09:09 IST

its a joke!!!

from:  shiva
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 09:02 IST

Congress would certainly be doomed out if Manmohan is going to be their PM candidate for the next elections. Apart from the series of worst corruptions, one major negative that people believe with the current UPA government is PM.

from:  labki
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 08:41 IST

This absence of viable alternatives (TINA) to the 80 year-old is the result of not allowing leaders outside the family to blossom.

It was said of the late Jawaharlal Nehru that he was like a "Great banyan tree. Everyone takes shelter under it, but nothing ever grows."

This is even more true today with a lesser banyan tree-- and a sapling.

from:  N.S. Rajaram
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 08:32 IST

Whether one is for or against the Congress and the UPA for all its acts of commission and ommission, their collective leadership - call it division of labour as you will between executive leaderhip and political leadership - has only resulted in a better state of affairs as far as decisions of War and Peace are concerned.

Certainly it has taken courageous statesmanship to keep India and Bharat and away from a destructive war or resource draining arms race any more than it has always been - in spite of the all the provocations from the neighbours that may have seemingly justified it, not to speak of the belligerent hate stoking campaign of most of the electronic media and the main oppostion party.

Indeed regional stability without fear of war have helped our peoples in the region better focussed on things that really matter - better universal access to the fundamental right to food, water, health and education and help see us through the global economic crisis.

from:  r n iyengar
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 08:22 IST

The speculation is that Manmohan Singh will be PM for the third time if U.P.A. comes to Power but
the opposition specially the Bharatiya Janata Party persists and
puts pressure on the ruling Party for the exit of Manmohan Singh due to the
exit of his Two Cabinet Minister Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal and Mr Ashwani
Kumar. As Mr Ashwani Kumar has been shown exit doors because he had
got changed the report on the Coal Scam from C.B.I. which it has
admitted in Supreme Court of India . As Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal had to
quit due to the scam of a Railway Member . Really B.J.P. will be
pressurizing for resignation of S Manmohan Singh and the Congress will
ultimately highlight the Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in case
of exit of S Manmohan Singh from the Prime Minister Post .

from:  RAJAT KUMAR MOHINDRU .
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 07:19 IST

It is time for us to think of an age limit for our elected representatives. It is unbecoming of a "young" country to be saddled with old leaders. It is astonishing that someone in his 80s would seek re-election - whereas everywhere else in society, there is a prescribed retirement age, why not in the field of politics?

from:  varadarajan raman
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 07:10 IST

Should Dr Singh decline the post next time around and Prince Rahul finds that the situation is not conducive for his coronation and Ms Gandhi herself would like to run the country from the background, the first family can always opt for Chidambaram (a Dr Singh clone).
His credentials are impeccable -
-- does not have a political base
-- has to depend on other parties to get him elected
-- does not have any idealogy
The only thing Mr Chidambaram needs to do is to learn Hindi, if he happenx to address the Nation from the ramparts of Red Fort.

from:  Mani Sandilya
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 06:40 IST

One can only hope that our venerable Prime Minister gets another term. Although the neoliberals monomaniacally focussed on growth will shrilly condemn him for not maintaining it, can anybody argue that his UPA govt hasn't provided an unique, inclusive, right-based approach to governance?

One feels that empathetic and sympathetic citizens who care for India must empower the hands of the prime minister in these trying times.

from:  Abhikanksha
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 06:31 IST

His services are
enough for the nation !!

from:  Arun
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 06:29 IST

Although the TINA factor might save Dr Manmohan Singh and perhaps assure him another five years as PM should the UPA return to power in 2014, the fact remains that he has been one of the weakest PMs the country has ever seen. Even the fig leaf of integrity has been blown off thanks to the fingers being pointed at his own PMO in various cases of corruption and impropriety the PM stands stripped bare, a pale shadow of the famed economist who was one of the pillars of the 1991 reforms that were a watershed in the country's history.

from:  C V ARAVIND
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 06:03 IST

It is highly unfortunate that congress party claiming GOP has no second person in the party to take charge of the Prime minster's post.

from:  pandharpurkar tilak sharma
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 05:58 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is the clear choice for 2014. Rahul Gandhi wants power, but he does not want to be open about it. Personally speaking, even with all the scandals and turmoil, the Congress Party will be voted back into power in 2014. This has been the case throughout our history.

from:  Pratik
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 05:56 IST

Why cant he face a general election than getting into Rajya Sabha and
serve as PM

from:  Rammohan
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 05:01 IST

In other words: Will we continue to regress rather than move towards progress?

from:  Pavan
Posted on: May 15, 2013 at 04:30 IST
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