PM prefers to speak less, donít mistake it for silence: Brother

On a day when the Prime Minister's Office lodged a formal protest with the newspaper Washington Post over a report, which said "India's 'silent' prime minister becomes a tragic figure", Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's younger brother Surjit Singh Kohli said that speaking little was his sibling's "personality trait" and should not be taken otherwise.

"Speaking less is one of the personality traits of Dr Sahib (PM Manmohan Singh). He prefers to speak to the point and remains relevant," Kohli said.

Referring to the report, in which the paper's India correspondent Simon Denyer wrote that the ''image of the scrupulously honourable, humble and intellectual technocrat has slowly given way to a completely different one: a dithering, ineffectual bureaucrat presiding over a deeply corrupt government", Kohli said that the article had used some jokes pertaining to PM not speaking much.

"It is not in a good humour to crack jokes about a person who prior to becoming as PM has served the nation as RBI governor, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission and Finance Minister," 59-year-old Kohli, who runs an automobile piston manufacturing unit in Amritsar, told The Indian Express .

On PM facing flak over the coal-block allocation scam, Kohli said, "Dr Sahib is an honest and upright person who has never done anything wrong in his life. The Opposition is not giving him a chance to explain his position," he added.

Kohli also trashed the talk about the PM being "remote controlled" by UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi. "He takes his own decisions and does not follow the diktat of anybody."

About the reports of PM's image as a seasoned economist taking a beating in the wake of a spate of scams and record devalued rupee, Kohli said, "I am sure my brother will come out much strong like he did when he was subjected to criticism on Indo-US nuclear deal."

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