WASHINGTON - A leading US newspaper Wednesday portrayed Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh “a dithering, ineffectual bureaucrat presiding over a deeply corrupt government,” saying he would go down in history as a failure.

In a dispatch from New Delhi, The Washington Post said the 79-year-old soft-spoken leader, who “helped set his country (India) on the path to modernity, prosperity and power, was “in danger of going down in history as a failure”.

“The architect of India’s economic reforms, Singh was a major force behind his country’s rapprochement with the United States and is a respected figure on the world stage, “ the newspaper said.

“But 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.”

The Post said that for the past two weeks everyday, the Indian parliament has been adjourned as the opposition demands Singh’s resignation over allegations of waste and corruption in the allocation of coal-mining concessions.

“The story of Singh’s dramatic fall from grace in his second term in office and the slow but steady tarnishing of his reputation has played out in parallel with his country’s decline on his watch. “As India’s economy has slowed and as its reputation for rampant corruption has reasserted itself, the idea that the country was on an inexorable road to becoming a global power has increasingly come into question,” it said. The Prime Minister’s ‘silence’ over corruption in his government has evoked criticism in the international media.

Notably, the TIME Magazine in July had dubbed Singh as ‘underachiever’ saying he appeared “unwilling to stick his neck out” on reforms that will put the country back on growth path.

Singh was featured on the cover of Time magazine’s Asia edition. With his portrait in the background, the title on the cover reads ‘The Underachiever - India needs a reboot’.