New Delhi, Jan 3 IANS | 12 months ago

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday said the dual system of power in the UPA has worked well and there were no hiccups in the relationship between the Congress party and the prime minister or with the government.


He also said that there had been occasions when the Congress party differed from what the government had done, but he did not think it as a "disadvantage".

To a question on the dual power centre in the UPA, he said: "I sincerely believe that an arrangement where the Congress president and prime minister do not happen to be the same person, in the circumstances it has worked exceedingly well. For me it has been a remarkable achievement that I have been able to complete 10 years of prime ministership without any hiccups in the relationship between the Congress party and the prime minister or for that matter the government."

"For me, Mrs Gandhi's support has been enormous in dealing with very complex issues and the fact that she was there to back me up has facilitated my task as prime minister in more than one way."

To another question if he felt the party toeing a different line from that of the government was a drawback, he said: "......and I think it is not a drawback in the system that we have operated. The fact that Mrs Gandhi or for that matter Rahul Gandhi were there to back the government up is something that has enabled us to deal with many difficult moments in these nine and a half years.

"There were of course times when they differed from what the government had done. The government reconsidered those issues. I don't think it is a wrong or a disadvantage to make course correction if the party leadership feels such correction were required in the national interests."

In September last year, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had forced the government to withdraw an ordinance to protect tainted lawmakers by saying it should be torn up and thrown away. The ordinance had been cleared by the cabinet headed by the prime minister.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi had forced the government to overcome its reluctance over clearing the food security bill. It was her pet social welfare project and she made the government overcome its hesitation of how to manage the resources to back it.

(Posted on 03-01-2014)