Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister, has signalled his willingness to step aside in favour of Rahul Gandhi, signalling the return of dynastic rule to the world's largest democracy.
"Whenever the (Congress) Party makes up its mind I will be very happy to step down, but so long as I am here I have a job to do" the 78-year old Oxbridge- educated economist said in response to questions on 41-year old Rahul replacing him posed by a group of newspaper editors in New Delhi on Tuesday.
"The general proposition that younger people should take over is the right sentiment" said Dr Singh, whose federal Congress Party-led coalition is besieged by corruption scandals, charges of non-governance and poor performance.
This acknowledgement follows renewed calls by senior Congress Party leaders for Rahul Gandhi -himself an MP – to succeed Dr Singh, who has been labelled a "lame duck" prime minister for his remaining three-year term.
Congress Party circles believe the premiership was Rahul Gandhi's 'birthright' as he is the son of Congress party head Sonia Gandhi and heir to the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty that has ruled India for almost four decades since independence 64 years ago.
After re-election in 2009, Dr Singh's administration has been rocked by financial scandals associated with last years Commonwealth Games, the questionable auctioning of telecommunication and oil and gas exploration licenses to private concessionaires.