PM ready to quit post for Rahul, but doesn't mind third term

PM ready to quit post for Rahul, but doesn't mind third term

 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said he was ready to hand over his post to Rahul Gandhi “any day” if asked, but would like to hold a third term in office if offered.

He also disapproved of the ongoing debate over two power centres in the UPA government, shrugging it off as “useless” and “creation of the media.”

“It is a hypothetical question. We are yet to complete this term,” Singh told reporters at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here, when asked whether he would accept a third term in office.

When asked if he was ruling himself out, Singh replied: “I am not ruling it in. I am not ruling it out.”

“Oh yes, any day,” was his instant response when asked if he would welcome Gandhi as the next prime minister.

In his earlier response to a similar question, the prime minister had remained non-committal. “We will cross that bridge when we reach there,” Singh had told reporters while returning from the BRICS summit in Durban last week.

Singh’s latest remarks come a day after Gandhi called speculations about his wedding and prime ministerial ambitions “irrelevant” and “all smoke,” stating that the focus of the national discourse should rather be on giving voice to all sections of the people.

The Congress vice-president had expressed his lack of interest in the top job earlier as well, but party leaders have been projecting him as the prime ministerial candidate.

Digvijay Singh, who is the Congress’ most vocal face, recently suggested that Gandhi should become prime minister if the UPA gets another chance to form a government. He suggested that the two power centres in the party, revolving around Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, did not work well.

Though the Congress leader maintained that he did not hint at any discord between the Congress president and the prime minister, he said: “I think whoever is the prime minister must have the authority to function.”

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