Speculation rife hours before Manmohan Singh's media conference
A resignation is unlikely, but what will the Prime Minister say in only his third - and perhaps last - media interaction in nine and a half years?
New Delhi: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will be addressing the media on Friday at 11 AM. It will be his third press meet after he took charge as the Prime Minister in May 2004. All eyes are on Singh and the media is speculating what the 'outgoing' Prime Minister might say in his probably the last media interaction.
Manmohan Singh rarely speaks. He has always stayed away from the media and given less than a dozen interviews in the last nine and a half years as the Prime Minister of India. Dr Singh has always interacted with the media on his official visits abroad. He also takes questions from the accompanying journalists on board.
Singh addressed the media as the Prime Minister designate in May 2004 at his house on Safdarjang Marg in New Delhi.
As the Prime Minister he had addressed just one press conference in 2006. During his second term, he addressed a press meet in May 2010. In June 2011, the PM had interacted with a few select print media editors at his residence 7 Race Course Road. He has also interacted with television editors at his house.
His 2010 press meet was chaotic. A Japanese journalist had openly protested that he was not given a Press Information Bureau (PIB) accreditation card. It had caused a huge embarrassment for the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
The PM's sudden decision to address the media has led to wild speculations that he would be stepping down on Friday. But, the government was quick to dismiss such speculations saying that the PM would be talking about the achievements of UPA-2. The I & B minister Manish Tiwari said, "The report is completely baseless, based on conjecture and insinuation,"
The PM will have a tough time answering the questions of the media persons from across India. They will surely question him over series of scams and the humiliating defeat of the Congress in the recent assembly elections.
According to some political analysts the PM might say that he won't seek a third term in office. He may even suggest the name of Rahul Gandhi for the post of PM, if Congress retains power in the Lok Sabha polls.