Mumbai (AsiaNews) - It is not only rating agencies that have given a thumbs down to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his disastrous economic management. Time magazine, one of the world's most popular journals, has now given a blow at Singh, calling him "the underachiever".
In a cover story, the magazine ticks him off for appearing "unwilling to stick his neck out" on reforms that will put the country back on the growth path.
Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath on Monday countered the Time magazine's description of Prime Minister, saying that "Everyone has their own opinion. But, Time magazine, first see what is happening in US and Europe, and then compare with India," Nath told media here.
Earlier, expressing his party's utter displeasure, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari questioned the magazine's logic in arriving at such a ridiculous view.
"In the past eight years, the UPA government under the leadership of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has provided political stability, social cohesion, internal amity, economic development and a greater role for India in international affairs. This by no stretch of imagination can be called or characterised or labelled as an underachievement," he said.
The Times of India wrote that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had on Sunday used the Time magazine story dubbing Manmohan Singh as an 'underachiever' to laud the achievements of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
It may be recalled here that cover of the Time magazine's March 26 issue featured Modi, with the caption: "Modi means business, but can he lead India".
The Time magazine has also raised questions on Manmohan Singh's ability to act in the face of slowing growth, widespread charges of policy inaction and the unpopularity of business reforms.
"India needs a robot. Is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh up to the job?" asked the weekly magazine.
"The laws that could help create growth and jobs are stuck in parliament, sparking concerns that politicians have lost the plot in their focus on short-term populist measures that will win votes," said the magazine, while criticizing the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre.
"India is stalling. To turn it around, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh must emerge from his private and political gloom," the magazine said, while calling the Prime Minister 'a man in shadow'.