New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday said he had requested Rahul Gandhi several times to be part of the government, but the Congress general secretary had told him he preferred to work for the party.
"I had requested him several times, but he feels he has more to contribute to the organisation," Manmohan Singh told reporters after the swearing-in of 13 new ministers at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
"Farmers are an important group of people. They contribute to national growth and agricultural production. Their contribution is enormous. It`s an effort on his part to understand the problems of farmers," Manmohan Singh replied when asked about Rahul Gandhi`s four-day padyatra in western Uttar Pradessh to highlight the issues of farmers affected by land acquisition.
Manmohan Singh also said it was "the last reshuffle before we go to the polls (in 2014)".
Thirteen union ministers, including eight new faces, were Tuesday sworn in at Rashtrapati Bhavan here as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh shuffled his council of ministers in the second such exercise in 25 months.