New Delhi: Exactly five years after he first took over as India's prime minister, Manmohan Singh gets another shot at running the country for a second term on Friday, vindicated by the faith reposed in him by millions who voted for his personal integrity, good governance and policies that promised economic progress with equity and inclusiveness.
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In the process, he confounded opposition critics who dismissed him as a weak and pliable prime minister, sceptics within his own party who thought he lacked the political wisdom to win the national polls and even perhaps his own officials who held farewell parties on the eve of the Congress party's stunning electoral victory on May 16.
The 76-year-old economist-turned-politician now faces heightened expectations from a nation that saw in him a rare exemplar of a leader who combined what Britain's Lord Meghnad Desai said was an economist's expertise with a politician's ability to execute ideas.
Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh attends a banquet held by Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso at Aso's official residence on October 22, 2008 in Tokyo, Japan. (Copyright AP. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.)Top viewed galleries of the day:
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