PM Manmohan Singh keeps up suspense on third term



Onboard PM's Special Aircraft: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday kept up the suspense on whether he aspires for a third term in office if the UPA comes to power after the Lok Sabha elections slated next year.

Singh, who was elected to the Rajya Sabha for the fifth consecutive term yesterday from Assam, was asked by reporters on his way back from Japan and Thailand whether he will accept Prime Ministership, if the opportunity arises.

"When I filed my nomination papers, I had clearly stated that it has been my great privilege to represent Assam in the Rajya Sabha since 1991 and people of Assam have given me yet another opportunity to serve them," he said.

He went on say that he was very grateful to the people of Assam. "I have tried in my own way to serve the people of Assam to the best of my ability. I will do so with renewed dedication and commitment," he said.

Last month, Singh had triggered speculation by remarking "I am not ruling it in, I am not ruling it out" when asked about him being a Prime Minister for a third term.

The Prime Minister's comments then had come days after Congress leader Digvijay Singh had said the two power centres had not worked well and should not be repeated.

The Congress had responded to Digvijay's comments saying the equation between the Prime Minister and Gandhi was an "ideal model that can continue for future".

PTI