Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday suggested in an interview that he was ready to be prime minister if Congress won the forthcoming elections, his first indication that he wants the job.
Buffeted by corruption scandals, low economic growth and high inflation, Congress is facing strong opposition challenges in the elections due by May.
“I am a soldier of Congress. Whatever order is given to me I will follow it. Whatever Congress says, I will follow it,” Gandhi said.
Gandhi made the remarks ahead of a party meeting on Friday focusing on the election.
Current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has ruled out serving another term if his party won the election and threw his support to Gandhi, praising his “outstanding credentials”.
Many party workers, including senior ministers, are pushing for Gandhi’s name to be announced as prime ministerial candidate. A section of the party, however, thinks that would expose him to a confrontational campaign against opposition leader Narendra Modi, whose style is seen as more dynamic.
Gandhi said Congress does not traditionally announce prime ministerial candidates during a campaign, but said he would respect the party’s decision.
On Modi as a prime ministerial candidate, Gandhi said a “one-man” government was not in the national interest. “The government should not function according to the whims and fancy of a single person,” he said.
Meanwhile, BJP termed the comments of Gandhi on Modi “laughable”, and said what can one expect from a party which does dynastic politics and only takes care of a family’s interests.
BJP’s deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad said the nation is keen for a change and has already seen Rahul Gandhi’s “capability and talent but rejected it”.
Vishwas: Rahul not capable enough
Amethi, Jan 14: Launching a fresh attack on Rahul Gandhi, AAP leader Kumar Vishwas on Tuesday said the Congress vice-president was not capable of taking up any responsibility in the country. “He (Rahul) is not capable enough to take up any responsibility in the country as whenever sensitive issues came to the fore, he remained abroad,” he said. Vishwas held meetings at Jamo and Jagdishpur areas of the district and sought details of funds spent on Amethi’s development. PTI