India Elections : Congress will be single largest party: Manmohan Singh

Wrapping up his campaign for the next Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday expressed complete confidence that while the UPA would retain power, the least that the Congress would do was emerge as the “single largest” party.

Addressing a press conference after public rallies at Amritsar and Khadoor Sahib, Dr. Singh said that despite an attempt to put up a show of unity at its rally here on Sunday, the NDA was disintegrating as its major constituents like the Telugu Desam Party and the Biju Janata Dal were no longer in its camp.

While the Congress has played prime minister Manmohan Singh’s Sikh identity to the hilt and even rounded off electioneering with his final poll speech in Punjab, the PM has avoided bracketing himself. Clarifying that he did not believe in mixing religion with politics, he said on Monday, “I have not authorized anyone to use my name. I am an Indian first, the Prime Minister of India and represent all sections of the people. Therefore, I do not think in terms of Sikhs and non-Sikhs.”

Interestingly, the PM’s comments came on a day when AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi projected the party’s Sikh PM and sought votes for UPA’s prime ministerial candidate, saying, “Manmohan Singh is the pride of Punjab and India”.

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