Bangalore, Oct 14 : Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said his working equation with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is "excellent" and there is no no "trust deficit" between him and Congress President Sonia Gandhi. He said even Rajiv Gandhi, with whom things were said to have "gone wrong", had said that "many things said about him (Mukherjee) I found weren't true".
At one point in an interview to "India Today", Mukherjee says he was already 75 and "there is a limit beyond which you cannot go. How long do you expect me to stay. I have overstayed my wicket."
"It's very good, excellent in fact. I have worked with him for many years. He is a perfect gentleman and embodiment of courtesy and politeness," the Minister said when asked about his working equation with Prime Minister, "a man who once called you sir".
Asked if he had told Singh that he would stop attending Cabinet meetings if he still called him sir, Mukherjee said "Of course, I had to tell him that. But you know, it's a mode of address. We call everybody sir, even an unknown person."
To a question about his equation with Sonia Gandhi, "who seems to respect you but not not trust you", the minister said "there is no no trust deficit or even deficit of acceptability." The Congress veteran was asked what he thought of Rahul Gandhi becoming prime minister.
"Why don't you wait? There is a strong potentiality of Shri Rahul Gandhi becoming prime minister because he is a popular leader of the country's premier party. The crowds he gets are amazing. I have attended some of his meetings in West Bengal.
Asked whether he would you join his Cabinet, he said "My goodness. What would be my age. I am already 75. There is a limit beyond which you cannot go. How long do you expect me to stay. Rather I have overstayed my wicket." When told that the government would be lost without him, Mukherjee said "No, I think I have done enough."
Asked if it was a no no to joining Rahul's Cabinet, he said "You are just conjecturing too much. Let's wait and see what happens." PTI