Manmohan says Modi as PM will be disaster, blames him for presiding over riots

Prime MinisterSingh said he will hand over the baton to a new PM after 2014 and hoped it will be a UPA chosen Prime Minister. (PTI)

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today made it clear that he will not seek a third term as PM if the UPA returns to power and threw his weight behind Rahul Gandhi, virtually setting the stage for the declaration of the Congress vice president as the party's PM nominee for the General Elections.

Addressing a rare press conference - the third in his ten-year term - Singh said he will hand over the baton to a new PM after 2014 and hoped it will be a UPA chosen Prime Minister. Singh said Gandhi has outstanding credentials when asked about his projection as the PM nominee. Singh, however, did not specify when his party would announce its PM pick, saying the Congress would decide at the appropriate term.

"I have full confidence that the next PM will be from the UPA coalition," Singh said. His comments, significant as they are, comes days ahead of the AICC session and amid a clamour in the party to announce Gandhi as the Congress' PM candidate. "I am not going to be a candidate for PMship if the UPA were to come back to power," he said.

Singh said the party has never asked him to resign neither has he ever thought of stepping down during the last ten years. The prime minister also rejected the charge that the myriad corruption scandals have tarred his image as he asserted that he will come out unscathed when the history is written about his government.

Showing rare belligerence, Singh also launched one of the strongest attacks on Narendra Modi saying the Gujarat Chief Minister as PM will have disastrous consequences for the country and argued presiding over mass murder of innocents is not a sign of strength.

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