New Delhi- Manmohan Singh was unwilling to continue as Prime Minister after completion of his first term in the office, but continued following insistence from the Congress high command, said Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Indian media reported today.
Prithviraj Chavan who had worked as minister of state in the PMO between 2004 and 2010. "History will judge Manmohan Singh's government as a successful era in Indian politics. Singh's era will be looked upon as a golden period. Singh was successful in maintaining the social fabric of India and there were no major communal riots during his regime," Chavan told reporters late on Friday evening. He, however, said that the Congress party and the government failed to publicize scores of welfare schemes initiated by the Singh-led UPA.
Chavan's statement achieves significance in the backdrop of the controversy over a claim in a book by the PM's former media adviser Sanjaya Baru that principal secretary Pulok Chatterjee sought Sonia Gandhi's instructions on important files to be cleared by the PM. "PM wanted to retire five years ago. But he was asked by high command to continue. Finally he recently announced his retirement which he wanted to do early," Chavan said.
The chief minister also defended the PM for his no show in the election campaign pointing out that Singh has already made up his mind to quit politics. "Once you announce retirement, this happens. However, he will address press conferences and some meetings," he said. When asked if the Congress party senses the ground swell of resentment against the UPA government, Chavan said, "One cant help if someone has this preconceived notion. But yes, there are factors like anti-incumbency."
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said that once Modi takes power at the Centre, India will never have elections. "This man Modi has traits of authoritarian leader like Hitler. Once he grabs power, I feel that there will be no elections in future. He is walking the path of Hitler who grabbed power using democratic ways and then consolidated his grip over the power structure and ousted democracy," said Chavan.
While admitting that Modi has posed a challenge before the Congress, Chavan said that Modi was a leader who will destroy the democratic fabric of the nation. "During Emergency it was DK Baruah who coined the phrase 'India is Indira and Indira is India. But Indira herself never made such statements. Today Modi has hijacked his own party, and if elected he will hijack democracy," said Chavan.