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Won't quit midway: PM

NEW DELHI, APRIL 21. In the midst of the talk about his successor, the Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, said today that he would not quit midway during his next tenure if re-elected.

``Who am I to hand over the baton? There is no monarchy here that one can decide who the successor is. This question should not arise at all. The party runs in a democratic way. There is no question of my leaving midway,'' he told All India Radio in an interview. He was replying to a question about speculation that he might hand over the mantle to some other leader after the polls.

The Prime Minister said he had been elected leader of the party democratically and it was the party which decided the leadership issue. The post-election scene was full of possibilities, including those of realignment of political forces.

``The nation wants a stable government and there are no two opinions on this,'' he said, adding that if one party got the numbers to form a stable government, it would be good for the country. ``But there are no signs of that now. We are again going towards a coalition government.''Asked about possible realignment of political parties, he said this might come about after the results were declared. To another question, he said that in a diverse and large country like India, a two-party system was not workable and that regional parties had come to stay.

PTI

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