Congress happy with Manmohan Singh, says Moily

April 3rd, 2008 - 2:31 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, April 3 (IANS) The buzz may be that Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has an eye on the prime minister’s job. But the Congress is “very happy” with incumbent Manmohan Singh, says party leader M. Veerappa Moily. In the first clear signal that Manmohan Singh could get to keep the top job after the next Lok Sabha elections, Moily said the Congress did not agree with the opposition view that Manmohan Singh was a failure.

“We are very happy with the prime minister. Manmohan Singh has done extremely well,” the Congress Working Committee (CWC) member told IANS. “He has been the cleanest prime minister. There are no scandals against him.”

Moily pointed out that both Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who was instrumental in making Manmohan Singh the prime minister in May 2004, and Rahul Gandhi had given full marks to Singh.

Last week, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar stated his preference for Manmohan Singh as prime minister - if the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) formed a government again in 2009.

Manmohan Singh is known to enjoy wide acceptability among the UPA partners. Even the Left parties, which are cut up with him for his alleged pro-US tilt, concede that his heart is in the right place.

There is speculation in political circles that the Congress might root for Rahul Gandhi as the next Congress prime minister. Moily refused to comment on the possibility.

“Contrary to what people believe that Manmohan Singh has been a weak prime minister, I would say he has shown himself as a strong (ruler),” he said. “How else could he have tackled George Bush on the Indo-US nuclear deal?”

Moily said that Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh had complemented each other. “As the UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi has functioned beautifully, just as Manmohan Singh has as prime minister.”

The Congress, Moily added, wanted the Lok Sabha polls on schedule in May 2009. “We want to reap the best harvest of our flagship programmes like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the National Health Mission.”

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