Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today resigned from office after two successive terms, a day after his Congress party lost the national election.
Before meeting President Pranab Mukherjee to submit his papers, Dr Singh addressed the nation for the last time, saying "each one of us should respect the judgment you have delivered."
In a short speech, Dr Singh, who was targeted repeatedly by critics over corruption scams and an economic slide in the last few years, said, "My life and tenure in public office is an open book. I have always tried to do my best in serving this great nation of ours."
India was a "far stronger country" than it was a decade ago, asserted the PM, who led the government for two successive terms.
"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 a debt that I will never be able to repay," said the 81-year-old.
"I wish the incoming government every success as it embarks on its task and pray for even greater successes for our nation."
Dr Singh later chaired his last cabinet meeting before meeting the President.
The Congress is exiting power after its worst performance ever in elections. The party has been reduced to a double-digit figure in Parliament and is struggling to reach the number required for it to have a Leader of Opposition.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul, who led the party's campaign, both accepted responsibility for the rout.
"The Congress has done pretty badly, a lot for us to think about. As vice-president, I hold myself responsible," said Rahul Gandhi.
Sonia Gandhi said, "The people's verdict is against us... As Congress president I take responsibility for the defeat."
Their statements came as the shocked party took in the magnitude of its defeat; the Congress has not won a single seat in 10 states and has not made it past single digits in the others.(NDTV)
A Prime minister and a gentleman. The one who introduced market reforms in India. Feel sorry to see him go.
Lara Saturday, 17 May 2014 09:45 AM
He is one of the great minister in the world. Indian forgot his contribution to enconomic growth and they just looked at the current status of curruption. Dr Singh who made economy of INdia
Priyantha Saturday, 17 May 2014 09:58 AM
Great Personality ... Our power hungry people can learn lots from here
Neomal Saturday, 17 May 2014 03:31 PM
Honest & clean professional educated both in Cambridge & Oxford former World Bank IMF official former governor of Reserve Bank of India contributed a lot to the growth of Indian economy as Finance Minister during Rao government. via DM Android App
Sylvia Haik Saturday, 17 May 2014 10:23 AM
India will rue the day they ousted the party of the fathers of India and brought in a bunch of fascists who have already shown what they are capable of in Gujerat and elsewhere. I need not remind that Hitler started exactly the same way grasping the opportunity when the incumbent government failed to deliver.
freking Sunday, 18 May 2014 01:41 AM
In the 10 year period you were not Prime Minister, sonia was the PM. you just a puppet command performer.
Chief Sunday, 18 May 2014 02:41 AM
Mang Mohanaya wela neme den eya thakbir wela!
dharmapalad Sunday, 18 May 2014 04:20 AM
end of congress party and family,
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