On Board Air India One, March 28 (IANS) The exit of a key ally has spelled uncertainties, but the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government will last its full term and carry on with reforms, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Thursday, but declined comment if he will agree to a third term in office.
“Obviously coalitions face issues,” the prime minister said when asked if his government had weakened after the exit of DMK and the alliance’s resort to outside support from Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
“Sometimes, they give the impression that these arrangements are not very stable arrangements and I cannot deny that those possibilities exist. But I am confident that our government will complete full five years,” he said.
But did he also feel reforms can continue under these circumstances?
“It is not a once for all set-up we are seeking by way of reforms. Reforms certainly have to take into account the fact that we don’t have the majority to get the parliament to approve some of our reform proposals,” he said.
“So we are certainly dependent on the goodwill of our allies and I would be the last one to deny that there are uncertainties. But even then, we are confident that the reforms that matter, and which are going to yield results in the next few months, we will be able to push them.”
The prime minister was also directly asked if he would be open to a third term in office if requested again by the Congress party president Sonia Gandhi.
“These are hypothetical questions. We will cross that bridge, when we reach there,” he replied.
But, as he enters 80s, would still he have the drive or the energy to continue to contribute to public life?
“I have tried my very best to serve this country with all sincerity, with all dedication. Whether I have succeeded or not, it is for the public at large — the people of India — to judge.”
(Arvind Padmanabhan can be conatcted at [email protected])