BeyondHeadlines News Desk
New Delhi: Amid scams and unable to move ahead on economic reforms in a big way, the UPA government headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh steps into the third year of its second term tomorrow, hoping to come out of its shackles.
For 79-year old Singh, who got to the prime minister’s seat after Sonia Gandhi refused to assume the office in the summer of 2004, it has been hopping from one problem to another in the last over eight months.
The only relief that came for the party heading the ruling coalition at the Centre was the recent results of the Assembly elections. The party retained its government in Assam convincingly, managed to wrest one in Kerala and was in a happy position in West Bengal where the ally knocked the Left front out of power after 34 years.
The coalition has arranged some celebrations at the Prime Minister’s residence tomorrow evening to mark the occasion.
From 2G scam, the Commonwealth Games scandal, the Adarsh Housing row and the P J Thomas affair, the Prime Minister may not not have had such a harrowing time in the last few months than when his government was surviving on the support of the Left parties during the first term.
In the 2G spectrum allocation scam case even the Supreme Court was prompted to pull up the Prime Minister asking him why no action was taken against the then Telecom Minister A Raja despite several indicators pointing to a looming scam ahead.
Similar was the predicament of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who is also the UPA Chairperson , as she faced tough days requiring continuous firefighting operations.
The issue of price rise continued to confront the economist-turned-politician Prime Minister with the government appearing helpless and the unprecedented rise in fuel prices that could have a cascading effect.
Apart from Raja landing himself in Tihar jail, the other bigwigs to give him company there are Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi,charged with irregularities in the conduct of the Commonwealth Games, and DMK MP Kanimozhi, not a good advertisement for the government at celebrations time.
The Niira Radia tapes had their own story to tell on the matters of governance.
With egg on its face, Government had to eat a humble pie on the appointment of P J Thomas as the Chief Vigilance Commissioner.
Topping all these was the controversy over the “most wanted” list of fugitives sent to Pakistan adding further embarrassment to the government.