Indian PM Singh Says Will Step Down after 2014 Elections
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Friday he will step down after elections due this year even if his Congress party defies predictions and sweeps to power for a third consecutive term.
In only his third news conference in a decade, Singh said that Rahul Gandhi, the 43-year-old heir to India's Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty, has the best credentials to become the next head of Congress and prime minister if his party stays in power after the polls in May, AFP reported.
"In a few months' time after the general elections, I will hand over the baton to a new prime minister," he said in opening remarks at his press conference.
"I have ruled myself out as a prime ministerial candidate,'' Singh said.
"Rahul Gandhi has outstanding credentials ... I do hope the party will take the right decision at the appropriate time.''
Friday's news conference comes at a time when the Congress Party's stock is low, battered by corruption scandals, internal feuding, and an inability to deal with a stumbling economy and deep-rooted problems with poverty, infrastructure and education.
The Congress party is set to meet on 17 January and it is expected an announcement of a Prime Ministerial candidate would be made then.