Chidambaram: Cong may not project Rahul as PM

Chidambaram: Cong may not project Rahul as PM

Senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram said that the party may not project its president Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate in the next Lok Sabha elections.

“We never said that we want Rahul Gandhi to be prime minister. When few Congressmen were talking about it, the AICC (All India Congress Committee) intervened and stop such talk,” Chidambaram said in an interview to News 18 Tamil.

“We want the BJP to be ousted. In its place, we want to see an alternative government which is progressive, respects freedom of individuals, doesn’t indulge in tax terrorism, gives protection to women and children, and uplifts farmers,” a report by News 18 quoted him as saying.

Chidambaram's comment may be an attempt by the Congress to salvage its effort to forge a grand alliance of all Opposition parties to take on the ruling BJP in the next parliamentary election.

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The issue of projecting a leader to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi hindered the efforts to bring all the Opposition parties together. The leaders like Mamata Banerjee of the All India Trinamool Congress and Mayawati of Bahujan Samaj

Party indicated that they may project themselves as the prospective prime ministerial candidate of the Opposition alliance, instead of accepting Rahul as the undisputed leader in the fight to dislodge Modi.

“We want an alliance to be formed. The prime minister will be decided by the alliance partners after the election,” the News 18 quoted Chidambaram.

Rahul had said earlier this month that if he was willing to be the prime ministerial candidate of the alliance of the Opposition parties for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, but only if the allies wanted him in that role. Rahul had, however. added that the first step for the Opposition parties would be to come together and ensure the BJP's ouster from power.

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