PM addresses his third Press Conference in 10 years
In his rare open interaction with media, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has stated the obvious that he won’t be seeking a third term after 2014 Lok Sabha Elections. Which will be considered as his farewell press conference Dr Singh clarified, “In a few months time after the next general elections, I will hand over the baton to a new prime minister, I hope it will be a UPA government”? On the charges of Corruption he said that most of charges are from the UPA1 era. The people of India do not seem to have paid heed to these charges of corruption which have been levelled against me and my party.
At the same time he accepted the fact that the UPA government and the Congress party had been going through trying times all through last year. The slide in Congress’ popularity became apparent by the drubbing the party faced in the recently-held Assembly Elections in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
While passing a negative remark against the BJPs PM candidate Narendra Modi, as “it will be disastrous to have him as the prime minister”, while sidestepping a question on choice of UPA’s PM candidate for next elections, saying the Congress president has said that the party will announce the PM candidate at the appropriate time. He indirectly accepted that most of the decisions in the UPA government were taken at the 10 Janpath but justified it by saying that there is nothing wrong in party leadership taking key decision and Smt Sonia Gandhi had backed me up in various difficult times.
While rating his own performance as ‘Reasonably satisfactory’, he claimed that he has tried to serve the country with utmost sincerity and dedication. He accepted the reality that most of the good decisions taken by his government do not reach to the common masses and expressed hope that ‘history will be kinder to me than the media’.
BJP has rebuked the PM’s comment on Narendra Modi by saying that it reflects his fear of defeat which he has already accepted. While speaking to the reporters BJP President Rajnath Singh said that court has given clean cheat to Modi and he has developed Gujarat as a model of governance, therefore the PM has no right to pass such negative remarks against him.
Though PM took questions from Sikh riots to investment climate, most of the questions revolved around his image and general perception was PM had nothing new to tell for the nation.
p In a few months time after the next general elections, I will hand over the baton to a new Prime Minister.
p As far as the charges of corruption are concerned most of these charges are from the UPAI era
p We have taken enough measures to protect the weaker sections of the society against price rise
p I have done best that was possible in given circumstances (to rein in Cabinet Ministers in corruption cases)
p India provides a hospitable environment for foreign direct investment
p It will be disastrous to have him (Narndra Modi) as the prime minister, Rahul Gandhi has outstanding credentials to be nominated as PM candidate.