New Delhi, Jan 3 (IANS): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared on Friday that he will step down after the next Lok Sabha election. "In a few months time, after the general election, I will hand the baton over to a new Prime Minister," Manmohan Singh told the media here.
"I hope it will be a UPA-chosen Prime Minister, and our party will work to that end in the campaign for the general elections. I am confident that the new generation of our leaders will also guide this great nation successfully through the uncharted and uncertain waters of global change," he added.
Manmohan Singh added: "I will not be a candidate for prime ministership if the UPA comes back to power."
PM accepts failure to check unemployment, inflation: He said inflation remained unexpectedly high and adequate jobs were not created in the manufacturing sector during his decade long tenure. �I am concerned that we have not been as successful as we need to be in generating employment in the manufacturing sector. This is an aspect of performance which we are working hard to correct,� he told the media.
�We need a much stronger effort in support of small and medium enterprises which can be a major source of good quality employment. Our manufacturing strategy gives high priority to this objective for the future,� he said.
Manmohan Singh said the second biggest concern on the economic front was inflation. �We have also not been as successful in controlling persistent inflation as we would have wished,� he said. �This is primarily because food inflation has increased. However, we should remember that our inclusive policies have put more money in the hands of the weaker sections.
�To keep food prices in control, we need to increase supplies and also improve marketing arrangements and logistics. This is especially important for items which are perishable such as fruits and vegetables,� he added.
Rahul Gandhi has outstanding credentials to be PM: The Prime Minister said that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has "outstanding credentialas" to be nominated the UPA's prime ministerial candidate. "I have indicated in opening remarks that I do not intend to be prime ministerial candidate if the UPA were to come to power after the general elections.
"Rahul Gandhi has outstanding credentials to be nominated as the prime ministerial candidate, and I hope our party will take that decision at the appropriate time."