Congress Never Said It Wants Rahul Gandhi as PM: Chidambaram

Talking to News18 Tamil, Chidambaram said that ousting BJP from power is the primary objective.

2 min read
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram (R) and Rahul Gandhi.

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said that the Congress will not project Rahul Gandhi or any other leader as the prime ministerial candidate for the 2019 elections.

The former finance minister made the comments in a conversation with News18 Tamil.

“We never said that we want Rahul Gandhi to be prime minister. When few Congressmen were talking about it, the AICC intervened and stopped such talk. 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,” he told the channel.

He further said that the prime minister will be decided by the alliance partners after the elections. He also accused PM Modi of threatening regional parties against joining hands with the Congress.

On 21 October, senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid had said that it is difficult for the party to come to power on its own in the present situation, but that an opposition alliance must not be formed at the "cost of containing Congress".

The allies should also be ready to make sacrifices and adjustments for defeating the BJP in the 2019 general elections, he told PTI in an interview.

“All our leaders have made it very clear that an alliance (is needed) to change the country’s government. BJP must go. Whatever it takes to sacrifice, adjust and negotiate to make the alliance a reality, Congress is willing to do,” he had said.

"But it is only fair that it should be the same attitude of other (opposition) parties. The alliance must not be for containing Congress, the alliance must be for removing BJP and we are ready for anything," Khurshid said. When asked whether it is possible for Congress to come to power on its own, the former external affairs minister said that "it is obviously difficult today".

The Congress, under the leadership of Gandhi, is struggling to stitch an alliance ahead of the state elections in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and the 2019 assembly elections.

(With inputs from and PTI)

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