NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared on Friday that he will step down after the next Lok Sabha election.
“In a few months time, after the general election, I will hand the baton over to a new Prime Minister,” Manmohan Singh told the media here.
“I hope it will be a UPA chosen Prime Minister, and our party will work to that end in the campaign for the general elections.
“I am confident that the new generation of our leaders will also guide this great nation successfully through the uncharted and uncertain waters of global change,” he added.
Manmohan Singh added: “I will not be a candidate for Prime Ministership if the UPA comes back to power.
Congress to name PM candidate at ‘appropriate time’
The Congress will announce its Prime Ministerial candidate for the Lok Sabha election “at the appropriate time”, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.
The Prime Minister made this comment at a press conference where he also announced that he won’t be the Prime Ministerial candidate in the general elections.
Rahul Gandhi has outstanding credentials to be PM
Manmohan Singh said Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has “outstanding credentials” to be nominated the UPA’s Prime Ministerial candidate.
The Prime Minister said: “I have indicated in opening remarks that I do not intend to be Prime Ministerial candidate if the UPA were to come to power after the general elections.
“Rahul Gandhi has outstanding credentials to be nominated as the Prime Ministerial candidate, and I hope our party will take that decision at the appropriate time.”
Modi as PM will be a disaster for India
“Without discussing the merits of Narendra Modi, I sincerely believe that it will be disastrous for the country to have Modi as the PM,” Manmohan Singh told the media here.
He added that he was fully confident that the next Prime Minister, after the Lok Sabha election, will also be from the Congress-led UPA coalition.
Enjoyed my work, never felt like quitting
Manmohan Singh said he had enjoyed his work in his 10 years at the helm of the UPA and never felt like resigning.
To a question if he had ever felt like giving in his papers out of frustration, he said: “I never felt like resigning at any time. I have enjoyed doing my work. I have tried to do my work with all honesty, with all sense of integrity without regard for fear or favour.”
PM hails Indian economic growth
The rate of growth achieved in the last nine years of UPA rule “is the highest in any nine year period”, Manmohan Singh said.
Equally important, he told a media conference here, was that the growth process was made more inclusive than ever.
Row over diplomat won’t hit Indo-US ties: PM
The row between the US and India over the arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York is a “temporary aberration” in bilateral relations, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.
The Prime Minister told the media here that the UPA government attached “the highest priority to strengthen the strategic partnership between our two countries.
“There have been recently some hiccups but I sincerely believe that these are temporary aberrations, and diplomacy should be given a chance to resolve the issues that have arisen,” he said.
PM accepts failure to check unemployment, inflation
Manmohan Singh said inflation remained unexpectedly high and adequate jobs were not created in the manufacturing sector during his decade long tenure.
“I am concerned that we have not been as successful as we need to be in generating employment in the manufacturing sector. This is an aspect of performance which we are working hard to correct,” he told the media.
“We need a much stronger effort in support of small and medium enterprises which can be a major source of good quality employment. Our manufacturing strategy gives high priority to this objective for the future,” he said.
Manmohan Singh said the second biggest concern on the economic front was inflation.
“We have also not been as successful in controlling persistent inflation as we would have wished,” he said.
“This is primarily because food inflation has increased. However, we should remember that our inclusive policies have put more money in the hands of the weaker sections.
“To keep food prices in control, we need to increase supplies and also improve marketing arrangements and logistics. This is especially important for items which are perishable such as fruits and vegetables,” he added.
Government to push forward reform process
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said his government would continue to push forward the economic reform process.
Addressing a press conference, the Prime Minister said: “Reform is not an event it is a process.
“We will continue to push forward the cause of reform,” he said.
IANS | Jan 3, 2014, 12.12 PM IST