It may sound bizarre coming from me. But I'm going to sing praise of Manmohan Singh for a change! No, on a scale of 0 to 5, I still rank him in the negative! But he has in the last week shown how effective he can be when he listens to critics like me!
First, his initiative to get the BJP onboard the nuclear deal was very praiseworthy. BJP was the original architect of the deal. So its a no-brainer that they'll have to support it now. But by briefing the whole BJP team including Rajnath Singh (who hasn't been involved with the deal), he has effectively nullified any chances of BJP calling the deal a sell out. And sending Narayanan to brief Advani who couldn't make it to that meeting was exceptional courtesy.
Second, his visit to Andhra (though pre-scheduled) in the aftermath of the Khammam massacre and showing solidarity with Rajasekhar Reddy is good. CPM has been at its hypocritical best in Khammam. There was (is) a real danger that Andhra Congress will get demoralized by the combined attack from TDP and the Left. And one would expect the PM to stand by his Chief Minister. Thats what he did.
And finally, his speech yesterday in Karnataka urging Congressmen to fight for regaining power on their own was great. I don't know whether he was disapproving attempts to join hands with JDS again, but still how often have you heard him talk politics? And his statement that "BJP followed divisive political policy" is likely to strike a chord with the urban middle class. Thats the way Manmohan! You are the Prime Minister, milk the political discourse in the country.
If only, he would stop sounding like the Minorities commission chairman ("I weep for terrorists' mothers!") and disapprove harakiris like the one in Goa, he can get more favorable coverage here in this space!
ps: This new 12 hour work day is killing me. So expect more junk posts from me in the near future.
UPDATE: August 11, 10:10 AM
Boy! Isn't Manmohan Singh taking my advice all too seriously now? Way to go!
>> "I told them [Left Parties] to do whatever they want to do [about the nuclear deal]. If they want to withdraw support, so be it," Singh said.
>> "What crisis?" he said when asked whether the UPA faced a crisis.