Rahul says will be PM if Cong emerges as largest party in 2019 poll

Rahul says will be PM if Cong emerges as largest party in 2019 poll

AICC President Rahul Gandhi gestures during public meeting. DH Photo/Prashanth HG

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said he would be India’s next prime minister if his party emerged with a majority in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Rahul was speaking at the launch of Samruddha Bharat, a secular, progressive platform of citizens in Bengaluru.

When a member of the audience asked him if he would be the next prime minister, Rahul said: “Well, that depends on how well the Congress party does. I mean, if the Congress is the biggest party, then yeah.”

This is the second time Rahul has made his prime ministerial ambitions clear. In September 2017, while addressing students at the University of Berkeley, Rahul had said he was “absolutely ready” to be the Congress’ PM candidate for the 2019 elections.

Rahul asserted that it was “highly unlikely the BJP will form the next government” and that it was “close to impossible that Narendra Modi will be the next prime minister”. He said a united opposition was “the deadliest thing in Indian politics that smashes everything in its path”.

The 47-year-old said the BJP did not stand a chance if parties unite. “I’m pretty confident that if we get everybody together and the Congress is able to act as a platform, the BJP doesn’t stand a chance. The question is, what does a government with so many partners look like?”

Rahul donned the hat of a political analyst. “Let’s do the math. An opposition alliance in Uttar Pradesh will guarantee that the BJP does not get more than five seats. You add up the BSP, SP and Congress, that’s 70%. This will take the BJP straight from 270 seats to 200. And at 200, Modi is not PM anyway because none of his allies will support him over Nitin Gadkari or someone else,” he said.

He went further to say that the Congress was poised to win states where it badly lost last time. “In the entire northern belt, the Congress practically ended up with zero seats last time. There’s no way we’re getting less than 20 seats in Rajasthan. We’ll win Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. So state after state where BJP swept, they will not sweep. If you remove Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, you have a BJP that’s unlikely to win the election,” he claimed.