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Sep 05, 2012 at 12:17pm IST

Washington Post calls PM a 'tragic figure', Congress seeks apology

New Delhi: Almost a month after the 'Time' magazine dubbed the Prime Minister as an "underachiever", an article in 'The Washington Post' tagged Manmohan Singh as a "tragic figure'.

"India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh helped set his country on the path to modernity, prosperity and power, but critics say the shy, soft-spoken 79-year-old is in danger of going down in history as a failure," the article said.

The article called Singh "a respected figure on the world stage" but added saying that his "image of the scrupulously honorable, humble and intellectual technocrat has slowly given way to a completely different one: a dithering, ineffectual bureaucrat presiding over a deeply corrupt government".

The Opposition took no time to react to the article. "It is true about this corrupt government. Now, the world has also come to know about it and the Prime Minister's image has demolished badly," said BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

The Congress, however, said it stands by the Prime Minister and 'The Washington Post' will have to apologise for publishing the article. "It is unfortunate that a paper of the repute of post makes these allegations," said Congress leader Jayanthi Natarajan.

'The Washington Post' article came in the backdrop of Parliament deadlock. The House could not function for more than half of the Monsoon Session over the alleged coal scam. "Every day for the past two weeks, India's Parliament has been adjourned as the Opposition bays for Singh's resignation over allegations of waste and corruption in the allocation of coal-mining concessions," the article said.

The CPI and Shiv Sena also attacked Singh over the article. "Whatever the post has written doesn't matter, the fact is it is one of the most corrupt government riddled by so many scams," said CPI leader D Raja.

"What is so great about 'The Washington Post', every post here is saying what the paper said," added Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut.