Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he’ll step aside after 10 years in office if his party retains power in elections due by May, setting the stage for the younger Rahul Gandhi to revive Asia’s third-biggest economy.
“I will hand the baton over to a new prime minister,” Singh, 81, told reporters in New Delhi today at his third formal press conference since taking office in 2004. “I am confident that the new generation of our leaders will also guide this great nation successfully through the uncharted and uncertain waters of global change.”
Singh’s successor will inherit an economy with the fastest inflation in Asia that is growing at the slowest pace in about a decade. Opinion polls show his ruling Congress party losing the vote, adding pressure on the 43-year-old Gandhi to bolster a party controlled by his family and which has ruled India for all but a dozen years since independence from Britain in 1947.