NEW DELHI, May 17 (Xinhua) -- Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday addressed the nation for the last time before demiting office, urging people to respect "the judgement you have delivered".
"I wish the incoming government every success as it embarks on its task and pray for even greater successes for our nation," the 81-year-old prime minister said in a televised address to the nation, a day after the ruling Congress party was decimated by the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in the general elections.
Stating that India is a "far stronger country" that it was a decade back, Singh said "My life and tenure in public office are an open book. I have always tried to do my best in serving this great nation of ours."
He said "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."
The prime minister is to chair his last Cabinet meeting at 11. 30 a.m. (local time) and then submit his resignation, along with his Cabinet of Ministers, to Indian President Pranab Mukherjee who will this evening host a farewell dinner for Singh in the evening.
Singh, who has been the Indian Prime Minister for the last 10 years, did not run for the office this year as the Congress was led by Nehru-Gandhi scion Rahul Gandhi.
Gandhi on Friday accepted moral responsibility for the party's worst ever performance in the general elections as the Congress managed to get only 44 seats on its own and 58 with its allies in the United Progressive Alliance, putting a question mark on the dynasty rule of the grand old party.