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Manmohan Singh signals to step aside for Rahul
Published on 2 Jul. 2011 12:47 AM IST
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“Whenever the (Congress) Party makes up its mind I will be very happy to step down, but so long as I am here I have a job to do” PM Dr. Manmohan Singh said in response to questions on Rahul replacing him posed by a group of newspaper editors in New Delhi on Tuesday.
“The general proposition that younger people should take over is the right sentiment” said Dr Singh.
This acknowledgement follows renewed calls by senior Congress Party leaders for Rahul Gandhi- himself an MP – to succeed Dr Singh.
Congress Party circles believe the premiership was Rahul Gandhi’s ‘birthright’ as he is the son of Congress party head Sonia Gandhi and heir to the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty that has ruled India for almost four decades since independence 64 years ago.
There is speculation in Delhi that Dr Singh could well succeed Pratibha Patil as president after her term ends next July.
Some Congress Party insiders believe he would make an excellent president whose as titular head of State performed a ceremonial role.
No clarity on reshuffle
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday called on President Pratibha Patil, triggering more speculation about a cabinet reshuffle. The meeting lasted for 45 minutes, the president’s office said. However, there was no clarity on when the reshuffle would take place.
“The two leaders discussed about the forthcoming monsoon session of the parliament and the current political situation. They also discussed various other issues of national and international importance,” a release from the president’s office said. As earlier planned, Patil will leave for her annual weeklong visit to Hyderabad Saturday.
In his interaction with a group of editors here Wednesday, Manmohan Singh had said that the cabinet reshuffle was a “work in progress”. “I cannot predict,” the prime minister had replied when asked about the details of the reshuffle.

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