Washington: Despite strident US media criticism of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over India's slowing pace of reforms or opening up, the White House views its relationship with India as "very important."
"We have a very important relationship with India," White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Thursday when asked about President Barack Obama's opinion about Manmohan Singh in the light of a Time magazine cover story that dubbed him as an "underachiever".
"I haven't had that conversation with him," Carney said when asked "What President thinks of India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh or his relationship with him?"
I mean, we have a very important relationship with India, as you know, but I haven't had that conversation with him lately," he added.
Dubbing Manmohan Singh as an "underachiever" the prestigious US magazine recently wondered whether the architect of 1991 economic reforms can rouse himself and put India back on the high growth path.
"Narrowing the gap between heightened expectations and the nation capacity to deliver, should be a job for the man who launched those expectations 21 years ago with such oratorical flourish," Time said in the July 16 issue of its Asia edition.
"India can only wait to see if Singh can rouse himself, let alone prevail or overcome," wondered the cover story with the blurb: "The Underachiever. India needs a reboot. Is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh up to the job?"