New Delhi: Manmohan Singh is a man of few words. And it was on this plank that the Modi government came to power. Modi had, throughout his campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, hit out at Dr Manmohan Singh for being silent and not speaking up, even when 'rules were being flouted under his watch'.
But even by his standards of speaking less, Manmohan Singh has been rather too silent in the two-and-a-half years that he has been out of power.
There have been only two occasions when Manmohan Singh has spoken out and both the occasions have been significant.
Responding to a CNN-NEWS18 expose on the Mallya Mails, Manmohan Singh denied that any undue favours were given to liquor baron Vijay Mallya when he was Prime Minister. “I did nothing that flouted the rules. I only followed procedure,” he said.
In fact, Manmohan Singh, an economist who believes in open economy, has always advocated helping industrialists for ease of doing business. But it has come back to haunt the former prime minister.
The last time Manmohan Singh spoke was on demonetisation. He called it a monumental disaster and coming from a former prime minister and a known economist, his criticism carried weight. The BJP was quick to hit back.
Manmohan Singh’s defence on the Mallya Mails is significant. He has had to face the maximum brunt of the coal and 2G scams. His clean image took a hit when it was alleged by the BJP that the former prime minister had flouted rules to help coal companies and some mobile service operators.
Manmohan Singh is now ready to speak is because he doesn’t want to end up with another tag. And he has perhaps learnt it the hard way that silence doesn’t always help.