Too early to retire, but it's party's call: Prime Minister | india | Hindustan Times
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Too early to retire, but it's party's call: Prime Minister

india Updated: May 25, 2010 01:51 IST
HT Correspondent

One year into his second term, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he is not thinking of retirement as his "work is not complete". The 77-year-old is, however, willing to make way for someone else if the Congress asks him to.

"I sometimes feel younger people should take over. As and when the Congress makes that judgement, I would be happy to make place for anybody the party may choose," Singh said, asked if Rahul Gandhi would replace him.

Answering another question in his first press conference after the re-election of the UPA a year ago, he said: "I am not thinking of retirement. I have been given work which has not been completed."

Singh took 55 questions over 90 minutes, dodging tricky issues and frequently pausing for answers.

The issues ranged from Pakistan to allegations of corruption against telecom minister A Raja and a Japanese journalist's complaint that it took 20 minutes to enter Vigyan Bhawan, the conference venue. "I am sorry," the PM told him.

In office for six years, Monday was only the third time he held a full-fledged press conference.

In May 2005, on the first anniversary of UPA-1, he had given himself six out of 10. This time, he ducked the suggestion: "I can't grade myself. It's for the media and people to judge. I am reasonably satisfied with the pace at which I am working."

On running a coalition, he said: "We have given our country a government that works, has delivered high rates of growth, accelerated the process towards inclusive growth."