New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who returned from the BRICS Summit on Thursday, has said that reforms are the top priority of the government, but admitted that it cannot be done without the goodwill of its allies. "Reforms certainly have to take into account the fact that we don't have majority in Parliament to approve some of our reforms. So we are certainly dependent on the goodwill of our allies," Manmohan Singh said.
The Prime Minister also did not rule out the possibility of the Samajwadi Party withdrawing outside support to the UPA, but said that the government will last its full term. 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."
DMK, which has 18 MPs in the Lok Sabha, pulled out of UPA and withdrew its support to the government on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue and Samajwadi Party has been attacking Congress and the government in the last few days. Samjawadi Party with 22 MPs and BSP with 21 are providing crucial outside support to the government and bailing it out in times of crisis.
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."
This is how Manmohan Singh's UPA stands currently:
Total - 539
UPA - 232
Half-way mark - 270
Congress - 202
NCP - 9
Others - 21
Outside Support - 49
TMC - 19
(With additional information From PTI)