"I do not believe that I have been a weak Prime Minister. I honestly believe that history will be kinder to me than the contemporary media or for that matter the Opposition in Parliament. Given the political compulsions, I have done the best I could do.” (Agencies)
“I have done as well as I could do according to the circumstances...It is for history to judge what I have done or what I have not done," Singh said.
He was responding to a volley of questions regarding criticism that his leadership was "weak" and he has not been decisive on many occasions.
Singh also chose the occasion to launch a blistering attack on BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and referred to the 2002 Gujarat riots under the Chief Minister whom the Opposition party is projecting as a strong leader while targeting Singh over the issue of "weak" leadership in the run-up to the next Lok Sabha polls.
"If you measure the strength of Prime Minister by presiding over mass massacre of innocent citizens on streets of Ahmedabad, then I do not believe in it. I do not think that this kind of strength this country needs least from its Prime Minister,” he said.
"I have full confidence that the next Prime Minister will be from the UPA. It will be disastrous for the country to have Narendra Modi as Prime Minister. I sincerely believe what Narendra Modi is saying is not going to materialize," he said.
Maintaining that his two terms as Prime Minister in UPA I and UPA II have displayed the Congress' ability to run a coalition government and dispelled the perception that this party cannot run coalitions, Singh said that though some compromises were made in the process, they were on "peripheral issues and not on national problems."
"Nobody has asked me to step down because of any inadequacy that characterized my tenure as Prime Minister," was his response when asked about "negative" perceptions within Congress about his leadership.
"I do not believe that I have been a weak Prime Minister. I honestly believe that history will be kinder to me than the contemporary media or for that matter the Opposition in Parliament. Given the political compulsions, I have done the best I could do.”