Outlook Magazine’s Smita Gupta traces the recent emergence of our usually reticent and retiring PM as a strongman, matching intellect with caustic comment directed at his blustering Opposition. And his appeal lies not only amongst the educated middle-class, she points out:
Indeed, Manmohan has touched more lives than even he might have imagined. Two weeks ago, while travelling through central and eastern Uttar Pradesh, where the contest is essentially between the BSP and the Samajwadi Party, the question, “Which party would you like at the Centre?” evoked a remarkably similar answer from potential voters. Cutting across the urban-rural barrier, religious and caste lines, a majority said, “The Congress and Manmohan Singh.” Why Manmohan Singh? Even in rural areas, the answer was remarkably uniform-in this era of an economic meltdown, it was important to have an arthshastri at the helm of affairs; at a time when India was engaging with the world, India needed a leader who could converse with world leaders on equal terms.
Read her analysis of how the BJP’s offensive against the PM failed over here.