Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is the rightful person to carry Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's baton, Union Minister Manish Tewari on Friday said shortly after Singh declared that he would bow out of office after the Lok Sabha elections.
"The Honourable prime minister has made the position very clear. He said that he led the government very successfully for the last 10 years and in 2014 when elections are held he would hand over the baton to another Prime Minister.
"And from the point of view of the Congress, we do hope that Rahul, who is the natural leader of the Congress party, would be the rightful person once bestowed the blessings of the people to be carrier of that baton," Tewari told reporters on the sidelines of a function.
To a question on Singh's remarks that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as prime minister will be disastrous for the nation, the Information and Broadcasting Minister referred to the 2002 Gujarat riots in which hundreds of people, particularly belonging to minority community, were killed.
"The Honourable prime minister has seen events, they have played themselves out for a fairly long period of time. Even before becoming the Prime Minister he was extremely active in public affairs," Tewari said.
Answering a question on a potential contest between Rahul and Modi, the prime minister said in his press conference said, "I sincerely believe that it will be disastrous for the country to have Modi as prime minister."