New Delhi. After taunting him with “being a Prime Minister was his birthright” banter, Manmohan Singh has fired another salvo at the beleaguered BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani, when he asked the 83-year-old veteran to become the caretaker Prime Minister of the nation while he watches the semi-final match between India and Pakistan at Mohali tomorrow. Though it appears mocking, Dr. Singh claimed that he was dead serious.
“Soniaji is also watching the match and so are Rahul and Priyanka,” Manmohan Singh explained, “Pranabda is busy with Bengal elections while Antony is finalizing his Kerala tour for campaigning. I asked Chidu, but he has still not finished the Economics book I had given him last week. There was a clear governance deficit impending due to the match.”
“I thought a lot and decided to give Advaniji a chance to live his most cherished dream. I also find him a better candidate than anyone else left around me,” the match-going Prime Minister said.
If Advani accepts the offer, he would become the Prime Minister of India for around nine hours tomorrow starting at 2 PM with the ‘toss’ till the visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani finishes the dessert of the dinner hosted for him.
“But he would just be a ‘caretaker’ PM, Dr. Singh has been shrewd not to make him an ‘acting’ PM for the duration,” pointed out constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap, “So he can’t take any policy level decisions, even if he wants to.”
“But anyway, there is hardly much of a difference between Congress and BJP policies,” he added as an afterthought.
Meanwhile the decision of Manmohan Singh has shocked the political circles in Delhi.
“I am not sure if Soniaji was consulted before this decision,” Delhi CM Sheila Dixit said, reiterating her support and loyalty to the “family” amidst allegation of corruption against her government during the Commonwealth Games.
Similar sentiments were echoed by many others in the Congress party, who thought Dr. Singh should have at least given the caretaking charge to some Congress leader. “My phone lines are always open, he should have at least called me to check if I was free,” said Digvijay Singh.
BJP leaders too appeared shocked with most of their leaders refusing to comment, though most of them claimed off the record that Manmohan Singh’s offer was solely aimed at embarrassing his party and its leader. Advani was not reachable for comments.
“What I don’t understand is that why do we need a government at all during the match? Who would be working anyway?” commented Atul, an Indian cricket fan, currently recovering from viral fever in his company’s HR documents.