Unlike earlier, there are no hectic travel schedules as he ends up spending more time with his family and associates. His life, though, remains busy as before, say people close to him.
Known to be a workaholic who never took a holiday, the 81-year-old Congress leader is in no holiday mood even now.
At his sprawling No. 3, Motilal Nehru Marg government bungalow, Manmohan Singh starts his day early with a walk inside the premises, scans newspapers and follows that up with meetings, a source close to the former Prime Minister told IANS. “He is not travelling and there are no official meetings. Otherwise, nothing has changed,” said the source, who has known the former Prime Minister for a long time and is familiar with his style of working.
“He still keeps busy, and has a series of meetings through the day, but these meetings are no more official,” he said, adding that instead of the 10 a.m. routine earlier, his meetings begin at 11 a.m. now.
Those seeking appointments from him include political leaders, businessmen, academics, former Planning Commission members and other people from different walks of life. Visitors also get more time to meet the veteran leader.
“Earlier, there were more people and lesser time. Maybe, 10 minutes each. Now we take fewer visitors and they get more time, up to half-an-hour. You cannot throw someone out of one’s house,” another person close to Manmohan Singh told IANS.
However, with no official burden now, Manmohan Singh mostly has family members and associates coming over. He gets letters, to which he replies every day. “I met him a few days ago and he is in the process of settling down in the new house. I will meet him again after a few days,” Rashpal Malhotra, who has been associated with Manmohan Singh for nearly five decades and was even a tenant in his (Manmohan Singh’s) house in Chandigarh’s upscale Sector 11, told IANS.
Manmohan Singh and wife Gursharan Kaur have three daughters - Upinder Singh (51), Daman Singh (47) and Amrit Singh (41).
Eldest Upinder is a professor of history at the University of Delhi and an author. Daman is a writer while Amrit is a staff attorney at American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Immigrant’s Rights Project. When he is not meeting people or replying to letters, Manmohan Singh takes out time for his only hobby - reading. “He loves reading and now he has more time for it,” another aide told IANS. Having remained one of the most protected person in the country for a decade, Manmohan Singh still enjoys formidable security cover with 100 personnel of the elite Special Protection Group and Delhi Police deployed for his security. The SPG, which is tasked with security of the Prime Minister and ex-Prime Ministers, takes care of internal and external periphery of the house, while the Delhi Police personnel are stationed outside. (IANS)