According to sources, Sonia has intervened as there is a feeling within the Congress leadership that ineffective and unfriendly policies of Manmohan Singh-led UPA government might be one of the reasons for the party’s debacle in the general elections as put forward by exit poll surveys.

Earlier on Tuesday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister and senior Congress leader Kamal Nath defended party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, saying he is not responsible for the likely poor show in the elections as he was never a part of the UPA government.

Nath also blamed Manmohan Singh-led government for not conveying to the people about its programmes and all the good work that it was doing.

"Election results are a reflection on what people's perception of the government functioning was....To dismiss them (good work) and say we did nothing in 10 years is wrong. Rahul Gandhi was never part of the government," Nath said in defence of Rahul, who led the Congress campaign.

Sources said it was at Gandhi's instance that the Congress made a statement thanking the Prime Minister on Tuesday.

READ MORE:Sonia Gandhi to host farewell dinner for Manmohan Singh today

“Singh's experienced and seasoned stewardship, his personal integrity and ability to lead the country through difficult times is noteworthy and India is proud to have earned so many laurels and respect during the ten years", party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told reporters on Tuesday.

Singhvi said that the party deeply appreciated the "able stewardship" of Singh during UPA-I and UPA-II.

On Tuesday, the BJP took a dig at the ruling party and the Prime Minister.

"The mantra in Congress is to blame others in case of something bad while giving all credit to Congress President and Vice-President. Therefore, Manmohan Singh will be blamed and others too. There will be talk about collective responsibility,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

With the exit polls projecting a majority for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the saffron bandwagon claimed it will do better than what the opinion polls have predicted, stressing that it will cross the 300-seat mark.

India's octogenarian Prime Minister would be demitting office on May 17, a day after the results of Lok Sabha polls are announced. He had earlier this year announced his retirement.

Sonia is holding a farewell dinner for Singh on Wednesday, two days before he will demit office.  

Manmohan Singh has been the country’s Prime Minister since May 2004 when Sonia Gandhi hand-picked him for the job.

Singh joined the government as an economic adviser in the Commerce Ministry in 1971. Among the many government positions that he has occupied are Secretary in the Finance Ministry, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, adviser to the Prime Minister and chairman of the University Grants Commission.

JPN/Agencies

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