‘No rift’ with Sonia, but suspense alive on PM’s third term
Prime minister Manmohan Singh has clarified that there are no differences between him and Congress president Sonia Gandhi and they work in tandem on almost all issues. Jayanth Jacob reports.delhi Updated: Jun 01, 2013 09:10 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has clarified that there are no differences between him and Congress president Sonia Gandhi and they work in tandem on almost all issues. While Singh skipped a question on whether he would accept the post of prime minister one more term, he said the cabinet expansion is being considered.
“I can say in all truthfulness that there is no difference of opinion between me and the Congress chief”, Singh said. The prime minister was responding to a question on perception of divergences and trust deficit between himself and Gandhi and reports that Congress president nudged him to get the resignation of former law minister Ashwani Kumar.
“We work together on almost every issue where consultation is needed, I consult her. And, therefore, this perception that on certain issues there were differences of opinion, there is no truth in that”, prime minister said. The reports of difference between Singh and the party came to the fore recently the days leading to the resignations of Ashwani Kumar and then Railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.
While the Congress leadership was mulling options for the damage-control exercise after Supreme Court observed that the “heart” of the Coalgate status report has been changed, Singh offered to shift Kumar to some low-profile ministry. But party had soon enough clarified that it was the joint decision of the Congress president and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to let the ministers go.
However, Singh skipped a question on a possible third term for him as the prime minister, keeping up the suspense alive on the issue. On whether he would accept prime ministership again if the opportunity came, Singh just spoke about again being elected to the Rajya Sabha. “I am very happy and grateful to the voters,” he said.