The speculation was triggered by the Prime Minister's decision to hold a press conference on January 3.

“The Prime Minister will complete his tenure,” the PMO said, rubbishing a report that he would step down before the polls.

PM to address media on 3rd January

A media report had speculated that Singh may step down ahead of the Lok Sabha polls to make way for Rahul Gandhi.

There has been a growing clamour within the Congress party to name Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate, especially, after the reverses suffered by the party in the state Assembly polls.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram earlier on Monday said that the Congress should project its prime ministerial candidate for the general elections next year.

"In my view, the party (Congress) should project a person as the leader of the party who will become Prime Minister if the party forms the government. That is my view, but it is for the party to decide,” he said.

Rahul Gandhi has been pro-active and has spoken on a number of issues such as Lokpal Bill and the Adarsh Housing scam in Mumbai.

The Prime Minister has more than once said that Rahul Gandhi should lead the party and that he was willing to work under the Congress vice-president.

"I have always maintained that Rahul Gandhi would be an ideal choice for the PM post after 2014 elections. I will be happy to work in the Congress under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi," he had told reporters on his way back from the G-20 Summit in Russia in September.

During the press meet, the Prime Minister is likely to dispel the impression about policy paralysis and reply to critics of his government. The Prime Minister is also likely to release a report highlighting the achievements of 10 years of UPA rule.

The Prime Minister has held two full-fledged press conferences during his 10-year tenure.

The UPA government has been facing criticism on account of policy paralysis, corruption, price rise and some other issues.

(Agencies)

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