In his last speech before bowing out of office, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that he has tried his best in serving the nation and that the country is much stronger today than it was a decade ago.
Singh addressed the nation saying "each one of us should respect the judgement you have delivered."
In the short speech, Singh, who has been targeted repeatedly by critics and opposition over corruption scams and economic downturn in the past years, 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 asserted that India was a "far stronger country" than it was a decade ago. "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 81-year-old said.
The congress party is exiting power after an embarrassing defeat, the worst ever in elections. The party's numbers has been reduced to a double-digit figure in Parliament and is in fact, struggling to even reach a number to be able to form an opposition leader.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul have both accepted responsibility of the devastating defeat. "The Congress has done pretty badly, a lot for us to think about. As vice-president, I hold myself responsible," Rahul Gandhi said on Friday.
Sonia Gandhi said, "The people's verdict is against us...As Congress president I take responsibility for the defeat."