NEW DELHI, May 17 – India’s outgoing Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, in his final address to the nation wished the new government success, and said there was still vast latent development potential in the country of over a billion people. The Bharatiya Janata (Indian People’s) Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is set to form the new government in New Delhi after a historic victory, wiping out the Indian National Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government in the 2014 general election
“Ten years ago, when I was entrusted with this responsibility, I entered upon it with diligence as my tool, truth as my beacon and a prayer that I might always do the right thing,” said Manmohan, 81, on Saturday. “In the last ten years, India has seen many successes and achievements that we should be proud of. Today, India is a far stronger country in every respect than it was a decade ago. “I give credit for these successes to all of you.
“However, there is still vast latent development potential in our country and we must collectively work hard to realise it,” said Manmohan, adding that he is confident about India’s future. “I firmly believe that the emergence of India as a major powerhouse of the evolving global economy is an idea whose time has come. Blending tradition with modernity and unity with diversity, this nation of ours can show the way forward to the world. Serving this nation has been my privilege. There is nothing more that I could ask for, ” the outgoing Indian leader said.
“As I leave office, my abiding memory will be the love and kindness that I have always received from you. “I owe everything to this country. This great land of ours where I, an underprivileged child of Partition, was empowered enough to rise and occupy high office. It is both a debt that I will never be able to repay and a decoration that I will always wear with pride,” he said. Manmohan said everyone should respect the verdict that citizens of the country have delivered and wished the new government every success as it embarks on its task and pray for even greater successes for India.
In the final tally, BJP secured 282 seats and with NDA 333 seats, while Congress only won 44 seats and together with UPA 60 seats. About 150 seats were won by other regional parties. A total of 543 parliamentary seats were contested in the general election. In the last general election, the BJP won only 159 seats, while Congress took 262 seats. Manmohan, who is the only prime minister after Jawarharlal Nehru to have completed two full terms, is expected to resign Saturday with the rest of his cabinet. Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi is expected to be sworn in as India’s 14th prime minister on May 21.