New Delhi: The Washington Post has refused to apologise for the article criticising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, calling him a failure. While PMO sources indicated to CNN-IBN that the publication tendered an apology and will also publish the Prime Minister's response, The Washington Post said there was no question of an apology.
Washington Post Journalist Simon Denyer said, "We have nothing to apologise. We stand by the article. Yes we did not have the PM's version. I contacted the PMO for an interview in July but was denied. They knew that the story was coming."
The Congress attacked the American newspaper, slamming the article that says, "The 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."
Almost a month after the 'Time' magazine dubbed the Prime Minister as an "underachiever", the 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 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.