Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s gesture of holding out the baton to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is an act that should be appreciated (Manmohan holds out baton to Rahul, Jan.4). But relying only on Mr. Gandhi will be disastrous. Mr. Gandhi should remember that there are a number of top leaders in the Congress who are talented and can lead the country to glory.

Rahul Srivastava,

Lucknow

“Cartoonscape” (of Jan.4) aptly sums up the tenure of Dr. Singh and 10 years of the UPA. Unfortunately, Dr. Singh is largely to be blamed for the situation he is in. If he had acted firmly when the scams erupted, perhaps even dissolving the government at that time and then going in for fresh elections, things could have been very different now. Blaming inflation and airbrushing the series of scams by saying that the “dimensions of the problems have been overstated by the media and the CAG” for the Congress’s continuous decline, amounts to just excuses.

Finally, to say that Narendra Modi will be a disaster as a prime minister largely because of what happened in Gujarat when the Congress itself was responsible for the 1984 riots, is uncharitable.

Shailendra Singh Gill,

New Delhi

The BJP has rightly summed up Dr. Singh’s tenure as “a wasted opportunity.” India, after a very long time, got a top-class economist as its leader and one can only express anger and disappointment that he let things drift. Dr. Singh could have acted firmly and cut any wayward allies to size when scams began to take their toll on the Congress. His having glossed over the scandals is shocking. His views on Mr. Modi is something that needs to be taken lightheartedly.

Jayaprakash Kallurkatte,

Mysore

By reaching out to Rahul Gandhi, the Prime Minister has only revealed the weak state the Congress finds itself in. While veterans need to make way for the young, in this case Dr. Singh’s choice of his replacement is inexcusable. Indian political parties have a long way to go in demonstrating that they are truly democratic in their functioning.

Errabelli Pramod Rao,

New Delhi

Apart from his unexpected aggression towards the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate and his own decision not to seek a third term, Dr. Singh’s media conference, possibly his last as Prime Minister, did not reveal anything new or startling. Was the press conference a signal from the Congress that he was just running the clock down and a new leadership will henceforth call the shots?

K.S. Jayatheertha,

Bangalore

The Prime Minister’s certification of the credentials of Rahul Gandhi as “outstanding” is an overstatement. The Congress vice-president has failed to strike a chord with the people. His problem is that he seems to spread negativity about the prevailing systems without offering solutions. He cannot absolve himself of being ignorant about the happenings in UPA-I and UPA-II. His reactions to critical issues are often belated and made known only after a public outcry, indicating his lack of decision-making capabilities.

N. Raghu Kumar,

Visakhapatnam

One could sense Dr. Singh’s discomfiture with the present dispensation. His analytical ability, when the subject was economics, was never in doubt and was evident in the press meet. If only he had an idea about politics the same way as his pet subject! His claim that the scams related to the period of UPA-I left one baffled. Why didn’t he act firmly then? Listening to him, you got the impression that parts of the script were prepared before the Delhi elections.

M.G. Warrier,

Thiruvananthapuram

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