At his last Cabinet meeting, ministers praise his leadership

An hour before he travelled to the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Saturday to hand over his resignation to President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in a brief address to the nation, said his life and tenure in public office were an “open book.”

Wishing the new government every success, Dr. Singh said he firmly believed that the emergence of India as a major powerhouse of the evolving global economy was an idea whose time had come.

On the general election results, which saw the Congress register its worst-ever performance, Dr. Singh said everyone should respect the judgment of voters.

“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 the high office. It is a debt that I will never be able to repay,” said the 81-year-old leader.

Later, he chaired his last Cabinet meeting, where senior Ministers praised the leadership provided by Dr. Singh in the last 10 years.

The Cabinet recommended dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha, bringing the curtains down on the term of the House, which will go down in history as the most interrupted in Independent India.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said the process to form the next Lok Sabha would begin after the EC sends the notification of the newly-elected members.