India's prime minister to hand over after election
NEW DELHI (AFP) - India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced on Friday that he will step down after elections this year and said reluctant political scion Rahul Gandhi should take his place if the ruling Congress party wins an unlikely third term.
Dr Singh also mounted his strongest attack yet on opposition leader Narendra Modi who has been making gains in the polls, despite his links to deadly religious riots in western Gujarat state in 2002.
“In a few months’ time after the general elections, I will hand over the baton to a new prime minister,” Dr Singh said in opening remarks at a rare press conference that confirmed his imminent retirement.
The 81-year-old had already hinted strongly at his intention to make way for leader-in-waiting Gandhi, the scion of the Gandhi dynasty which has dominated India’s politics since independence.