New Delhi, April 5 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday did not rule out a third term at the helm if the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance was returned to power in the next elections but added that he would welcome Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi to be prime minister “any day”.
The prime minister also dismissed the debate over two power centres as “useless”.
Asked whether he would accept a third term as prime minister, Manmohan Singh said: “It is a hypothetical question… We are yet to complete this term.”
Asked further on whether he was ruling himself out, he said: “I am not ruling it in, I am not ruling it out.”
He was speaking to media persons at Rashtrapati Bhavan after the Padma awards function.
On the issue of dual power structure, he termed it a “creation of the media. It is a useless debate”. He was replying to a question on the issue that was raised by Congress leader Digvijaya Singh. The Congress has dismissed Digvijaya’s contentions.
Asked whether he would welcome Rahul Gandhi as prime minister, he said: “Oh yes, any day.”
He also described as “excellent” Gandhi’s speech at a Confederation of Indian Industry meet Thursday.
Gandhi, 42, had dismissed as “irrelevant” a question on his becoming prime minister.
Earlier this week, Congress spokesperson Janardhan Dwivedi had said that the Manmohan Singh-Sonia Gandhi dual power centre model has worked well for the party and could continue in the future also.
“The relationship between Sonia Gandhi and the PM is a model for the future. The party will decide at a later time who will lead the 2014 election campaign. Manmohan Singh is the leader now and every one accepts him,” Dwivedi said.
Dwivedi’s comment came in response to Digvijaya Singh who said that the dual power system at the centre had not worked.