New Delhi: Congress has a "very good chance" of forming a government under its leadership with some allies, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said today amid growing chorus of an "enlarged" UPA-III to stop Narendra Modi from coming to power.
Talking to reporters at the AICC headquarters, Chidambaram also insisted that the political scenario this time is vastly different from the one after the 1989 polls when Rajiv Gandhi chose to sit in the opposition despite getting some 190 seats.
He said Congress has a "very good chance" of forming the government "under its leadership" with some allies.
"Whichever party is in a position to form a stable government should come forward and it must discharge its responsibility. You cannot run away from responsibility. This country cannot afford an election every three months.
"If Congress is in a position to form a government, it will come forward, I believe it will come forward," Chidambaram said in clear indication so far that Congress has not given up its intention to form a government even if its numbers are reduced.
He said the scenario in 2014 polls has changed from 1989 and this time the Lok Sabha poll is not one election but election of various states.
"We have to see the final tally of various parties," he said but refused to predict how many seats the Congress will get. "I don`t make predictions of election outcomes. Every party goes into elections with the belief that it will win the election and form the government. I also believe that Congress will win the election and form the government".
Chidambaram`s remarks came a day after a senior party leader floated the idea of an "enlarged" UPA-III taking on board new allies and keeping open the issue of leadership to stop Modi from becoming the Prime Minister.
"All options are on the table and all options are off the table. It all depends upon the numbers we get and the BJP gets and the margin between them," a senior party leader, who declined to be identified, had said.
Chidambaram, however, refused to get into comparisons on whether the poll outcome for Congress could be described as a rating of Rahul Gandhi`s leadership just as it can be said in case of Narendra Modi.
"That`s a very subjective view," he said, adding that it was not possible to conclude elections in this for and against manner and hence he can give "anecdotal" answers to "anecdotal" questions.
Replying to a question in a lighter vein whether he believes that good days are going to come (Narendra Modi`s poll jingle), the Finance Minister said he had always been optimistic and believes that good days will come in future with Congress forming government.
A senior party leader had earlier maintained that the shape of things to come depended upon what kind of mandate is received by regional parties and which of them get more seats as there are some among them which cannot join hands with Modi in any eventuality.
At the same time, a sizeable section in the party is insisting that the Congress should participate to give the government not only stability but also strength and expertise.
The leader was of the view that the last 25 years or so have witnessed Congress and BJP together bagging some 300-odd seats while the rest have gone to regional parties.
There is also a section in the party which wants the Congress to sit in the opposition if it does not have respectable numbers to form the government.
Rejecting the idea of extending outside support to a Third Front to form government to stop Modi from coming to power, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh had earlier said that the "tail cannot wag the body." Rahul Gandhi has also disapproved of any such idea.