Rahul natural leader: PM

NEW DELHI, June 17:

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh today indicated readiness to make way for Rahul Gandhi if the UPA wins the Lok Sabha elections next year.
“I have always said, as far as I am concerned, I would be very happy to see Rahul step into my shoes. I always believe we will have a third go at the elections as the UPA and people will again repose their faith in us,” he told reporters here.
He gave this reply  when asked  he would make way for Rahul Gandhi if UPA-III comes to power.
The Prime Minister’s significant is significant as he had on earlier two occasions virtually not ruled out himself being in the race for the top post again if the UPA wins a hat trick.
Describing Gandhi as a “natural leader”, Singh said he would be very happy to see the young leader “step into his shoes”.
“Rahul Gandhi is a natural leader of the Congress. I hope he will be lead the UPA. I always believe Rahul is fit enough and has the right qualities of a leader,” Singh told journalists after eight new faces were inducted into his council of ministers at a ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
The Prime Minister brushed aside a query on whether Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi posed a challenge with a twitch to the eyebrow.
“Modi is no threat. People of India know what he stands for… People of India have to draw their own conclusion what they stand for,” Singh said.
Earlier, Dr Singh today took oath as member of Rajya Sabha after being re-elected from Assam.
80-year-old Singh, who is the Leader of the Upper House, was recently elected a member of Rajya Sabha from Assam for the fifth consecutive term.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party leaders Ahmed Patel, Motilal Vohra and Rajv Shukla were among those present on the occasion.
Singh, who took oath in the name of God, told reporters that “It is a great opportunity for me to re-dedicate myself to the service of the people of Assam”.
Lok Janshakti Party President Ram Vilas Paswan, SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav and a number of Rajya Sabha members were present at the function.
Another Congress member from Assam Santius Kujur also took oath today.
The election to the two Rajya Sabha seats from Assam had taken place on May 30 and Congress had won both the seats. (PTI)

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