An accomplished economist turned politician, he was credited with formulating sweeping in the 1990's that was pro-middle class. He had proved his credibility as an able economist who understood the sensitivities of the Indian aam aadmi.
More recently, Singh was also known for heading the most corrupt government in independent India. In his own submission, the PM had claimed, "In the situation today, day in and day out, I think we are described as the most corrupt government."
Professor in New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University, Mridula Mukherjee has been quoted as saying, "I think his tenure as the Prime Minister of United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-I was his peak time. The series of corruption scandals during UPA-II eroded Manmohan Singh's image too, though he brought the high standards of probity, honesty, integrity and hard work to the PM's post."
There are also talks that Manmohan Singh might gun for the President post next year. Present President Pratibha Patil will demit office on July 2012 and Manmohan Singh seem to be the obvious choice for the top post. Mukherjee commented on this likely scenario, "That is the only post he may accept or aspire at the age of 80 next year."
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary on Singh's turbulent term said, "Manmohan Singh has been evading the crucial issue of corruption. It does not bode well for a Prime Minister to give a clean chit to a controversial minister like Chidambaram. Otherwise, Manmohan Singh's regime is identified with scandals and burning problems like inflation."
Political analyst N Bhaskar Rao made the comment on Manmohan Singh that said, "he is a poor communicator. The Prime Minister still has not lost his reputation as a good economist and an honest politician."
Even though leaders across the political spectrum have high regard for Manmohan Singh, many believe that 'he was the right person in the wrong party'. But with those within the Congress stating there was a concerted effort by the media and the opposition to malign his image, the facts prove matters otherwise.
With Manmohan Singh's Prime Ministership riddled by scams and controversies, hope he has a better birthday next year, hopefully as the President of India.