The headline itself was reportedly changed a couple of times, with the term "poodle" being changed to "puppet" and then later changed to the Time magazine's headline last week that called the PM 'the underachiever'.
The insult did not stop there when the newspaper report commented that the Prime Minister's reforming zeal had evaporated and slowed the country's growth. The British daily also observed that the PM had "no genuine political power" and owed his position to Congress Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
According to the article, Manmohan Singh's problem is that "he has no genuine political power. Rather, he owes his position to Sonia Gandhi, widow of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, mother of Rahul and Congress Party chairwoman, who to the delight of India's middleclass selected him for that role when her party won a surprise victory in 2004".
It added, "This has meant he has sometimes been unable to even control his cabinet and his failure to more quickly address the actions of a coalition minister, accused of defrauding the country up to $40bn in a telecom licence scam, led to him being accused of further weakness."
Quoting critics in the business, the report said that the PM's "reforming zeal has evaporated and slowed the country's growth, while political opponents say he has overseen an administration that has revealed itself to be mired in corruption. From within his ruling Congress Party there are repeated, if oblique, demands for him to step aside ahead in favour of his presumed successor, Rahul Gandhi."