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Sonia declines to become PM Newsdesk | May 18, 2004 19:08 IST
Last Updated: May 18, 2004 19:35 IST

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday evening declined to take up the prime minister's post.

Addressing the Congress Parliamentary Party at the Central Hall of Parliament, she said throughout the past six years that she has been in politics, one thing that has been clear to her is that the post of prime minister "is not important for me".

She said whenever she found herself in a position like this, she always followed her "inner voice. That voice tells me I must decline".

"I request you to accept my decision and recognise that I will not reconsider my decision," she told the Congress' newly elected MPs.

"My aim has always been to defend secularism. We have taken significant steps towards this goal," she said.

"We have won a successful battle but the war is yet to be won."

She said her foremost responsibility was to give the country a secular government that was strong and stable.

"As one of you and the president of Congress, I pledge to work with you for the Congress party towards our vision and principles."

The Congress MPs repeatedly surrounded her to persuade her to reverse the decision. They shouted that she should not bow to any pressure, to which Gandhi said that "there is no blackmail from any party. This is my inner voice and conscience".

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Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 4

Sub: sonia

people of INDIA will be happy to get Sonia as PM-Our country needs some external forces to ignite the fire in it.


Sub: Comments on congress president Ms. Sonia's decision

Hi, Really our congress president Sonia's decision is very good decision. I hope that she would be the good leader of our country becoz our ...

Posted by esar

Sub: Why did she even stand in the elections?

Why did she even stand as a canditate and fight so much if being the PM wasnt her aim?

Posted by Ashita

Sub: The opportunity for compromise

One cannot but fail to be impressed by Mrs Gandhiís bravery in putting the country first. Mrs Gandhiís love for her husbandís memory has played ...

Posted by Khandu Patel


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