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NEW DELHI: Manmohan Singh won’t be the prime ministerial candidate for the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Announcing that he is bowing out after this term at a press conference here on Friday, Manmohan Singh said, “In a few months’ time, after the general election, I will hand the baton over to a new prime minister.
“I will not be a candidate for Prime Ministership if the UPA comes back to power.’’
With Rahul Gandhi set to be the party’s candidate for the PM, Singh said, “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.’’
He said the Congress would announce its Prime Ministerial candidate “at the appropriate time.’’
Praising Rahul Gandhi, he said he has all the credentials to be India’s next PM.
“Rahul Gandhi has outstanding credentials to be the prime ministerial candidate, and I hope our party will take that decision at the appropriate time.’’
However, he said that if Narendra Modi becomes the prime minister it would be a disaster for the country.
“I sincerely believe that it will be disastrous for the country to have Modi as the PM.’’
Singh, who has been dubbed as the puppet PM chosen by Sonia Gandhi to keep the top job for her son, said, “I never felt like resigning at any time. I have enjoyed doing my work.’’
Despite multiple scams and his disastrous performance during the second term, the prime minister boasted that the last nine years of his government have seen the growth rate that “is the highest in any nine year period.’’
With inflation and rising prices becoming a big issue before the May general elections, Singh admitted that his government has not been “as successful in controlling persistent inflation as we would have wished.’’
Calling the diplomatic row with the US over Devyani Khobragade, Singh said, “I sincerely believe that these are temporary aberrations, and diplomacy should be given a chance to resolve the issues that have arisen.’’