Rahul future leader, Manmohan to remain PM: Congress

Rahul future leader, Manmohan to remain PM: Congress

Rahul future leader, Manmohan to remain PM: Congress

Attempting a balancing act after some party leaders suggested Rahul Gandhi for the prime minister's post, the Congress Monday said that while Gandhi is the future leader of the Congress and the country, Manmohan Singh will continue as the prime minister.

"Rahul Gandhi is certainly the future leader of the party and the country," Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said at a routine briefing at the party headquarters here.

"Meanwhile, I want to say that Manmohan Singh is the prime minister and he will continue in the post," she added.

She was answering a volley of questions on the statement by party general secretary Digvijay Singh that Gandhi, who turned 41 Sunday, was "suited to become the prime minister". Several other leaders have backed the suggestion.

Asked when she wanted Gandhi to take over (as the prime minister), Natarajan said: "That he will decide. The party high command will decide. The people of the country will decide."

Manmohan Singh, who is holding the prime ministership for the second term, has a tenure up to May 2014.

The Congress spokesperson said Manmohan Singh has done an "excellent job in leading the government for the past seven years".

At the same time, she hailed Gandhi and said that he has brought about a "tremendous change by reaching out to farmers and the disadvantaged sections and attracting youth to the Congress".

Natarajan said Gandhi had democratised the party systems and frontal organisations. "He is not only a youth icon, but a national icon," she added.

Asked when she expected Gandhi to take over, she repeatedly said: "I am not an astrologer."