New Delhi, Jan 3 :
The Congress Friday hoped that party vice president Rahul Gandhi becomes prime minister after the general elections following Manmohan Singh’s announcement that he won’t seek a third term.
Answering queries after the prime minister’s press conference here, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said Gandhi was a “natural leader” of the party.
At his press conference, the prime minister stated that he led the government for the last 10 years successfully and “in 2014, when elections are held, I would hand over the baton to another prime minister”, he said.
“From the point of view of the Congress, we do hope that Rahul Gandhi, who is the natural leader of the party, would be the rightful person, once bestowed with blessings of people, to be the carrier of that baton,” Tewari said.
Tewari said the prime minister’s remark on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi speaks for itself.
The prime minister said he sincerely believed Modi “will be disastrous for the country as PM”.
Manmohan Singh also referred to the 2002 Gujarat riots and said that “if by ‘strong prime minister’ you mean that you preside over the mass massacre of innocent citizens in the streets of Ahmedabad, that is the measure of strength, I do not believe that sort of strength this country needs, least of all in its prime minister”.
Tewari said Manmohan Singh saw the events as they played out and was fairly active in public affairs.
“The words he described that strength does not mean massacring the people in streets… speaks for itself,” Tewari said.