Rahul Gandhi ideal choice for PM in 2014, says Manmohan Singh

On board Air India 1: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said that Rahul Gandhi would be an ideal choice for the prime minister's position post 2014. However, in remarks that clearly suggest that he does not want a third term, Singh also told a news conference that he would be happy to serve the Congress Party post 2014.

"I have always maintained that Rahul Gandhi would be an ideal choice for the prime minister’s position after the 2014 election. I would be very happy to work for the Congress party under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi," he said on his way back from the G-20 Summit at St Petersburg.

Manmohan Singh. AFP

Manmohan Singh. AFP

In a short news conference aboard the Air India 1, the Prime Minister’s special flight, Singh also said that a final decision on normalising relations with Pakistan was contingent on several factors including action against terror groups and operatives.

"I have always maintained that we can choose our friends, but we have no choice with regard to our neighbours. And, therefore, under normal conditions, I would be happy to meet with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whom I respect, who has said the right things about how relations between our two countries should evolve," Singh said.

Singh added, "There are certain harsh realities on the ground. If the terror acts do not stop, if those who voice terrorist thoughts move about freely, if there is no significant progress in bringing the culprits of the Mumbai massacre to book — that I have to factor in before arriving at a final decision.”

The remarks come days ahead of the the Prime Minister's visit to the United Nations General Assembly in New York where a meeting of the two leaders has been speculated about.