Tewari rubbishes PM resignation reports

Manish TewariTewari at the calendar launch on Tuesday. Renuka Puri

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari Tuesday refuted reports of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's imminent resignation. He also added that Rahul Gandhi is the "natural leader" of the Congress.

"This (reports of PM's resignation) is baseless and without facts. I don't want to lend decorum to such questions by reacting to them. Rahul Gandhi is the natural leader of the Congress party, but as the UPA chairperson has said, if required we will declare a PM candidate in time," Tewari said. His remarks came a day after Congress leader and Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the party should declare its PM candidate.

Tewari was speaking at the launch of the Directorate of Advertising & Visual Publicity's calendar for 2014. The calendar highlights the achievements of the UPA government, such as MGNREGA, Food Security Aadhaar, etc.

Tewari conceded that the results of the recent Assembly elections had disappointed the Congress, but the party was ready to take on the 2014 "challenge".

"To some extent, people seemed to be overawed by the results of the Assembly elections. Yes, for us as a party, maybe as a government they have been disappointing. But if you look at them in perspective, out of 29 states that went to polls in the past five years, the Congress won twelve," he said.

Tewari also objected to the use of the phrase 'secular tourism', used by the BJP to describe Rahul's visit to Muzaffarnagar, and said it reflects a "narrow mindset".

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