News WrapGet Handpicked Stories from our editors directly to your mailbox

In 2014, third term for Manmohan as PM?

Congress sources claim that Dr Manmohan Singh may become the party’s choice for the prime minister’s post for a possible third term in 2014 polls.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: He may have been dubbed as a weak leader by the opposition, but if Congress sources are to be believed, Dr Manmohan Singh may become the party’s choice for the prime minister’s post for a possible third term.

Reports, Friday, claimed that Congress high command may give the responsibility to Dr Singh in the event of Rahul Gandhi refusing to take the centrestage in national politics after the 2014 polls.

Interestingly, Rahul Gandhi, who has recently been made the in-charge of Congress’ 2014 election campaign, prefers to stay behind the scenes and strengthen his party for the upcoming General Elections in 2014.

Despite all speculations of 2014 polls witnessing a direct political turf war between Rahul Gandhi and BJP’s Narendra Modi, the sources claim that it is likely that Dr Manmohan Singh’s name gets the party’s backing for a third term.

The party gave an indication in this regard during the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Investment on Tuesday.

Speaking at the occasion, Congress spokesperson Janardhan Dwivedi said that the Manmohan Singh-Sonia Gandhi dual power centre model has worked.

"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.

Noting that it is political parties that elect their prime minister after contesting elections, Dwivedi said, "Generally it is seen that some visible or invisible tension, misunderstanding (between the government and the party) surfaces. Here (in the UPA) both the party and the government have continued to function with dignity and mutual understanding. What better situation could be there for a democracy?"
His comments came days after Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh said that the dual power centre hasn`t worked and asked his party to clarify.

Dubbing the experiment of "two power centres" in UPA as a failure, Digvijay Singh recently suggested that Rahul should not opt to nominate a prime minister if the party gets a majority in the next Lok Sabha polls.

"Personally, I feel this model hasn`t worked very well. Because, I personally feel there should not be two power centres and I think whoever is the PM must have the authority to function," Singh had said.

Rahul had earlier said that strengthening the organisation was his priority and it was "wrong" to ask him questions about prime ministership.

To this, Dwivedi said, "Rahul Gandhi has been made Congress Vice President. Since he has been given the responsibility of the organisation, hence strengthening party and organisation is his priority. What happens thereafter is decided by the party. Today Manmohan Singh is the Prime Minister and this arrangement is working well."
Dwivedi recalled that while announcing Gandhi`s appointment as Congress vice president in Jaipur after the Chintan Shivir, he had said, "As far the question of campaign and leadership is concerned, the party will decide it later."

Referring to the relations between the Prime Minister and the Congress president, Dwivedi said unlike other political parties where the party chief and the head of the government share uneasy relations, in UPA the two have shared a good equation for a long time.

On whether he would continue to contribute to public life and whether he has the drive and energy to do that after crossing the age of 80, Prime Minister Singh had replied, "I have tried my very best to serve this country with all sincerity and dedication. Whether I have succeeded or not, it is for the public at large, the people of India, to decide."