Since the days of my cricket career I have admired honorable Dr Manmohan Singh as a great economist. Jumping into political arena and winning the Parliament election for the first time in 2004, I was feeling equally elated as every common voter of my constituency, Amritsar, then did seeing son of the soil rising to the top slot to become Prime Minister.
 
During his initial five-years tenure as PM, although, he did nothing substantial for his home state, Punjab and his hometown, Amritsar, where he had taken shelter and did his schooling after migrating from Pakistan, but, my admiration for him did not subside.
 
My sense of regard for the PM remained intact irrespective of the fact that he continued to ignore my repeated formal requests concerning issues related to the overall development of the holy city of Amritsar.
 
Fulfilling my role of sitting in Opposition due to my political affiliations, I always avoided indulging into kitchen cabinet discussions to criticize the PM. The persona that Dr Manmohan Singh had developed during his first innings as PM was there to feel in his hometown that is my constituency. Though ending up winning two successive elections – by-election in 2007 that I chose to face by resigning on moral grounds and the general election of 2009 – but my victory margin went down drastically.
 
By the time Dr Manmohan Singh started his second innings as PM, the forward thinking and large-hearted people of my state in general and constituency in particular despite being unsure about his generosity for them, were quite confident about him to do something exceptional to take the country forward.
 
But, the myth that all of us had developed about our worthy PM started crumbling like a sand mound when expose of one scam after another started tarnishing the country’s reputation. 
 
The PM with most powerful bio-data and clean image kept his eyes and years closed when Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi and his team started embezzling crore of rupees released by the government for the Commonwealth Games. Repeated media reports about the bungling and inordinate delay in completing the projects for the games failed to wrench the conscience of ‘persona of integrity’. The PM woke up only when the expose of scams coupled with collapsing substandard construction work, dented country’s reputation worldwide.
 
Dr Singh had hardly started cleaning the sleaze by ordering CBI probe into CWG scam, another cat came out of the bag to bite him with the jaws of 2G Spectrum Scam. In the run up of Asian sub continent’s biggest scam Dr Singh failed to give a satisfactory reply that how he allowed the scam of such a magnitude to take place right under his nose.
 
PM did not mind himself queuing up with notorious scamsters by refusing to agree to the demand of ordering Joint Parliamentary Committee probe, and hence allowing the entire previous Parliament session to go waste. If Dr Singh has seen some justification in ordering JPC probe prior to the budget session now, then should not he be held squarely responsible for the valuable-time and resource loss on account of zero outcome of the previous Parliament session?
 
If Dr Singh allows streak of scams to take place right under his nose then what is the advantage of his honesty to the country or to a common man? Does he want to be called as ‘honest king of corrupt kingdom’? Doesn’t his conscience trouble him to wake up and do something to curb the cancer of corruption?
 
The honourable Supreme Court judgment describing the Chief Vigilance Commissioner PJ Thomas's appointment as illegal is staring at the face of PM, who allowed a tainted officer to head the body basically meant to remove the taint of corruption in the country. 
 
I am aware of his firm belief in Sikhism. But, has he started skipping the sacred stanza – Deh Shiva Bar Mohe Ihe Subh Karman Se Kabhu Na Taro--------from his morning prayers? I have never before heard of a Sikh team leader of his stature taking refuse in compulsions to defend his chair. Instead of expressing his helplessness before media like a conscience-wounded-culpable, he should have better discussed his future course of action against corruption and steps taken, if any, to bring country’s huge resources that have been siphoned out of the country to be preserved as black money in some foreign banks.
 
In less than two years of his second stint as PM there is complete turnaround to his reputation in his home state in general and homeland, Amritsar, in particular. The voices of his aficionados-turned-critics are becoming shriller day by day. A segment of people, who were pinning hopes in him to internationally resolve the Sikh turban crisis, have stopped expecting anything from the first PM of their faith.
 
Do I need to remind the PM that nothing deflates as fast as a punctured reputation? Has he compromised to the extent of remaining a titular head with his wings completely clipped by the parallel power centres? Having already fallen from the grace, is he waiting for an unceremonious exit – a complete contrast to his surprising induction? 
 
(The writer is BJP national Secretary & MP from Amritsar)