New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh Sunday said he still believes that the party’s “dual power centre model” – Sonia Gandhi as party chief and Manmohan Singh as prime minister – has created a perception of uncertainty.
“It is always better to have one point at which the buck stops. Here of course Mrs Gandhi has never interfered in the functioning of government, whatever people may say. But the fact remains this impression that goes around, it doesn’t really help,” he told Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN’s Devil’s Advocate programme.
“The perception is we don’t know where the buck stops, and that creates uncertainty,” he said.
“The fact remains Sonia Gandhi is the president of Congress party and she is the face of the Congress. She has the mandate of the people which elected us. So therefore she is the leader. As far as Manmohan Singhji is concerned, he has been given the responsibility to carry on that promise made to the people of this county to deliver.”
Singh said Gandhi has “chosen Manmohan Singh to lead the UPA government – UPA-I and UPA-II – and ultimately it was the parliamentary party which elected him as leader.”
“The ranking by itself in the Congress hierarchy is always Soniaji is always ahead, there is no doubt about it. But the fact remains that Mrs Gandhi has not really interfered in the functioning in the government except on policy issues like NREGA, RTI or RTE.”
He denied there were instances where Manmohan Singh didn’t have the authority to function freely and effectively.
“No, in fact, the party has stood behind Manmohan Singh solidly. In fact if you see the nuclear bill, there were some reservations within the party about the need for a nuclear bill at that stage, but when the party saw the PM was keen to do that, the whole party put its weight behind him.”
“There were differences of opinion on the nuclear bill, there was difference of opinion on FDI in retail but then once the party took a view so we all fell in line.”
He deflected a query on the party’s PM candidate. “This is something which Digvijay Singh cannot say, but the fact remains the Congress party doesn’t usually announce its candidates whether CM or PM, we have to get the mandate of the people first…”
On party vice president Rahul Gandhi’s comments that the political system has failed us, Digvijaya said: “He is not blaming anyone, he is just putting forward his vision, that in this country of 1.2 billion.. you cannot govern this country. One man cannot govern this country by sitting in Delhi, it has to be delivered by the people of this country, that’s why empowering of 1.2 people is important.”
“We will see this in the country if the opportunity comes led by Rahul Gandhi and you will certainly not be disappointed, just trust this man, give him a space, give him a chance and he will deliver.”