Phagwara (Punjab), May 23: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is an "asset" for the Congress, former minister Buta Singh said in Phagwara on Thursday.
Congress stalwart and former Union Home Minister Buta Singh showered unqualified praises on Manmohan Singh on completion of four years of UPA-II and called him 'heera' (diamond).
When specifically asked if he was in favour of Rahul Gandhi being projected as next PM, Buta Singh told reporters he was not in a position to comment upon it but added Rahul Gandhi was just one rung down the ladder.
When his attention was drawn to Parliamentary Affairs minister Kamal Nath's remarks that PM had had a long tenure in the hot seat and Rahul Gandhi should be projected as the future PM, Buta Singh dismissed Kamal Nath's remarks as his individual views and not of the country.
"Rahul Gandhi will definitely step on to the top rung of the ladder but when he will do so will be decided by AICC and the nation," he remarked.
Denying reports of any difference between AICC President Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, Buta Singh asserted both were on the same page of policy matters.
When asked that BJP had called 'UPA hero of failures and zero in achievements', Singh said that BJP was confined only to big cities while Congress was the only real national party with its presence down to remote villages.
"It was my desire that the next Central government should be formed by a single party i.e. Congress as coalition has not succeeded in Parliamentary democracy," he said.
On the controversial martyr's memorial inside the Golden Temple complex, Buta Singh pleaded that the fire that had been doused and should not be stoked again.
He alleged that law and order in Punjab had totally collapsed and state police had become a tool of the ruling alliance.