Why was Manmohan Singh selected as the Prime Minister of India?
Manmohan Singh was selected for the simple reason that there was no other deserving person capable enough to become the PM of India. Before the General Elections of 2004, Sonia Gandhi was declared as the Prime Ministerial Candidate of Congress. But she surprised everyone by passing the position to Manmohan Singh who had not even won a Lok Sabha Election before. Trying not to be politically biased, in my opinion she took the right decision mainly because of two reasons:
1) It would have created a huge controversy for a person of foreign origin taking up the highest position in India. Also it is said that Mrs.Gandhi decided to opt out after President Kalam sought some clarification on the following provision of the citizenship Act 1955.
The crux of this provision of “reciprocity” is that a person of foreign origin, who has acquired the citizenship of India through registration by virtue of marrying an Indian national, cannot enjoy more rights (like becoming Prime Minister), if the same opportunity is not available to an Indian-born citizen in that particular country.
2) She wasn’t the most deserving candidate. The only reason people accepted (and supported) her in the Election was because of sympathy (and love!) for the Gandhi-Nehru family. Soniaji wasn’t even 10 years into politics at that time (she joined in 1997). Thus there was no political achievement to her credit to prove her credibility.
Manmohan Singh on the other hand had held many many responsible positions in his amazing political career.He received a BA from Cambridge, and after obtaining his doctorate in Economics from Oxford, Singh worked for the United Nations in 1966–69. He subsequently began his bureaucratic career when Lalit Narayan Mishra hired him as an advisor in the Ministry of Foreign Trade. Over the 70s and 80s, Singh held several key posts in the Government of India, such as Chief Economic Advisor (1972–76), Reserve Bank of India Governor (1982–85) and Planning Commission Head (1985–87).
In 1991, as India faced a severe economic crisis, newly elected Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao surprisingly inducted the apolitical Singh into his cabinet as Finance Minister. Over the next few years, despite strong opposition, he as a Finance Minister carried out several structural reforms that liberalised India’s economy. (Source: Wikipedia)
Dr.Singh is the most academically qualified and professionally successful PM India ever got.
Now at the time of UPA formation who could have matched Dr. Singh in his credentials?
When UPA 2 was formed then also there wasn’t anybody better than Dr. Singh. Although there are experienced and qualified people in Congress like Kapil Sibal, P Chidambaram and Shashi Tharoor but
Now, don’t ask me why Rahul Gandhi was not made the PM !!!!
In Dr. Singh’s defense I would say had he not been restricted by his own political party, he could have served the nation in a much better way. We people tend to get swayed by how articulate a person is but that should not be the primary requirement of leader. Considering the political drama inside the Congress, there is nobody who could have done better than Manmohan Singh. And by ‘doing better’ I do not mean just delivering great speeches but doing real stuffs !!!!