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No debate: Cong says Manmohan leader of govt

Party spokesperson shoots down suggestion that Congress is debating if it is time for Rahul Gandhi to take charge as prime minister. 'Manmohan Singh is our Prime Minister and he continues to be that," says Jayanti Natrajan.

delhi Updated: Jun 21, 2011 01:38 IST

The Congress party on Monday said prime minister Manmohan Singh was the leader of the government and he was doing his job "well". The party's statement comes after a senior leader said that Rahul Gandhi, who is widely viewed as a leader-in-waiting, can become the prime minister.

"It is time that Rahul Gandhi can become the prime minister," said Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh on Sunday.

Digvijay said Rahul, a Lok Sabha MP and Congress general secretary, was now a mature person with sound political instincts required for the top job.

On Monday, party spokesperson Jayanti Natrajan clarfied that Manmohan Singh was the prime minister and there could be no debate about it.

"Our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has done an excellent job in heading the government for the last seven years. Manmohan Singh is our Prime Minister and he continues to be that," she said.

She denied a suggestion that a debate was on in the party over leadership. She was asked when Rahul will take over as PM. "I am not an astrologer; I am not leader of the Congress," she replied.

"It is something he will decide, party high command will decide, people of India will decide."

Rahul, who turned 41 at the weekend, has so far avoided roles in the cabinet, preferring instead to focus on building up a youth movement of the ruling Congress party.

Rahul, who never has stated outright he wants to lead India, has said becoming premier is not the only "job" in the world and there "are many other jobs a person can do."

First Published: Jun 20, 2011 18:08 IST