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Manmohan Singh to step down after Lok Sabha polls

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared on Friday that he "will hand over the baton" after the next Lok Sabha election

"In a few months time, after the general election, I will hand the baton over to a new prime minister," Manmohan Singh told the media at a press conference in Delhi on Friday.

"I hope it will be a UPA chosen prime minister, and our party will work to that end in the campaign for the general elections.

"I am confident that the new generation of our leaders will also guide this great nation successfully through the uncharted and uncertain waters of global change," he added.

Manmohan Singh added: "I will not be a candidate for prime ministership if the UPA comes back to power."

Indian democracy has strengthened

The recent assembly elections have again demonstrated the strength of Indian democracy, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said

"Our people have voted in record numbers in recent assembly elections," the prime minister told a media interaction here.

He admitted that the Congress "did not do well in these elections but we welcome the extent of participation (in the elections) and we will reflect what the results tell us and learn the appropriate lessons".

He also urged everyone to respect the institutions of democracy, which he said were the "cornerstones of modern India".

"All of us who wish to build a better India ... must respect these institutions and work through them. They are the legitimate instruments in our hands (despite) limitations."

India headed for better times

He said that India was headed for better times and many of the steps the country had taken to tackle the economic problems had come to play.

Addressing a press conference Friday, he said: "Let me say at the outset that I do believe we are set for better times, the cycle of global economic growth is turning for the better."

He said: "Many of the steps we have taken to address our domestic constraints are coming into play. India's own growth momentum will revive.

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