New Delhi: In his last address to the nation, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday acknowledged his debt to the country that empowered him, "an underprivileged child of Partition", to occupy the high office of prime minister and wished the incoming government every success.
He said the just concluded national election "deepened the foundations of our democratic polity" and its judgement should be respected by all.
Hours before demitting office, Singh said, in a brief address in Hindi and English, he is confident about the future of India.
"I firmly believe that the emergence of India as a major powerhouse of the evolving global economy is an idea whose time has come. Blending tradition with modernity and unity with diversity, this nation of ours can show the way forward to the world. Serving this nation has been my privilege. There is nothing more that I could ask for," he said.
The prime minister, who has helmed two successive UPA governments since 2004, said when he was entrusted with the responsibility of leading the nation "I entered upon it with diligence as my tool, truth as my beacon and a prayer that I might always do the right thing".
"Today, as I prepare to lay down office, I am aware that well before the final judgment that we all await from the Almighty, there is judgment in the court of public opinion that all elected officials and governments are required to submit themselves to."
Remarking on the election results that have given the Congress its worst drubbing, Singh said: "Each one of us should respect the judgement that you have delivered. The just concluded elections have deepened the foundations of our democratic polity."