I always knew in my heart that if I ever found myself in that position, I would decline the post of Prime Minister of India. I have often been asked why I turned it down. In trying to explain that choice to my colleagues in the party, I described it as dictated by my "inner voice." Indeed, that voice has been my wisest guide in political life. The plain fact is that power for itself has never held any attraction for me. My aim in politics has always been to do whatever I can in my own way to defend the secular, democratic foundations of our country, and to address the concerns and aspirations of the many whose voice often remains unheard.