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New Delhi, May 24, 2010
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today ruled out any plans for retirement till he finished the tasks on hand but made it clear that he would be happy to make place for anybody the Congress party chooses.
Dr Singh was answering two separate questions at a press conference here this morning on whether there was any chance of him stepping aside in favour of Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi before the end of his present tenure and whether he had, in his six years as Prime Minister, ever thought of retiring.
"I have been entrusted with a job, which is not complete. Till I complete the task, the question of retiremet cannot arise," he said.
About Mr Gandhi, he said that he had felt sometimes that younger people should take over.
"As and when the Congress makes that judgement, I will be very happy to make place anybody the Congress decides," he said.
Earlier, in response to another question, Dr Singh said he had requested the 39-year-old Mr Gandhi, who has been projected by some in the Congress as a future Prime Minister, to join his Cabinet.
"Rahul is very qualified to hold a cabinet post. I have discussed it several times with him. He has always been very reluctant to give me a positive answer because he says he has duties to perform in the revival of the Congress party.
He said that, if and when Mr Gandhi decided to join the Cabinet, he would be a very "appropriate" addition.