On Board PM's Aircraft: With outside ally Samjawadi Party breathing fire in the last few days, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday acknowledged the possibility of its withdrawal of support to the UPA, but ruled out any threat to his government or early elections. Vowing not to allow coalition compulsions to derail the reforms process, he said that the government is confident of pushing ahead with the reforms that matter and that are going to yield results in the next few months. He also added that he won't allow a situation where governance is put aside.
Singh also appeared not to rule himself out of the race for Prime Ministership after the next Lok Sabha elections. "Well, obviously coalitions face issues. Sometimes, they give the impression that these arrangements are not very stable arrangements and I cannot deny that such possibilities don't exist", the Prime Minister said. "But I am confident that our government will complete full five years, and that the next election to the Lok Sabha will be held on schedule (in 2014)," Singh told reporters accompanying him on his return from a four-day visit to Durban in South Africa.
Asked to comment on accepting a third term as Prime Minister, he said, "We will cross that bridge when we reach there. I have tried my best to serve India with sincerity and dedication. Its for the people to judge if I have succeeded or not."
Rejecting popular opinion that the UPA cannot hold allies together, Manmohan Singh said he did not endorse that view. He said that the government was compelled to take into account the compulsions of alliances but that they won't allow them to derail the reforms process. Singh said, "Reforms have to take into account the lack of Parliament majority. They are dependent on the goodwill of our allies. We cannot deny that there are uncertainties."
Commenting on the contentious Italian marines issue, Singh said, "I sincerely believe that the matter should be left to the court process. The matter is now part of a judicial process. The Supreme Court has looked at it and a special court has been set up. It would be too presumptuous to comment on the sub-judice issue." He also added that, "I certainly hope that all right thinking parties and individuals will support the foreign policy initiatives of our government."
(With Additional Inputs From PTI)