Congress ministers on Friday downplayed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's recent remarks -- keeping the possibility of being the Congress’s prime ministerial candidate for a third time open -- while party spokesperson Rashid Alvi said people want Rahul Gandhi to be the prime minister.
Union minister and Congress leader Rajiv Shukla remarked that the prime minister had said nothing to suggest he was ready for a third term.
"In my view, he was responding to a pointed question. And what has he said? He only said that ‘we will decide how to cross he bridge when we come to it’," he said.
Shukla also appeared to suggest that the media was putting multiple interpretations to Dr Singh's remark.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said the prime minister was responding to a "hypothetical" question and it was not essential to "unnecessarily interpret" his statement.
"There is nothing to add or subtract to what the prime minister has said. He was responding to a hypothetical question and it is not essential to unnecessarily interpret the PM's statement," said Tewari.
Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said," The prime minister's statement is very clear. No clarification is needed on it. Till 2014, Manmohan Singhji is the prime minister of the country."
He said that after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the newly-elected party Members of Parliament and the Congress leadership will take a decision on who the prime minister will be.
Alvi added, "Workers of the Congress Party desire from their heart that Rahulji should be the prime minister."