Congress leaders project Rahul Gandhi as party`s consensus leader

Soon after Union Minister for Transport Road and Highways Oscar Fernandes ` praise of Rahul Gandhi, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Saturday said Rahul Gandhi is the party`s "consensus leader" and there was no confusion in Congress on its Prime Ministerial candidate.

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Soon after Union Minister for Transport Road and Highways Oscar Fernandes ` praise of Rahul Gandhi, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Saturday said that the Gandhi family scion was Congress party`s "consensus leader" and there was no confusion in the party on its Prime Ministerial candidate.

"There is no confusion at all. I want to make it clear that people make their own observations as per their thinking," he said on being asked why there was confusion in Congress on projecting Rahul as the Prime Ministerial candidate.

"We in Congress have accepted Rahul Gandhi as our leader by consensus. Whenever it is his wish, we will wait for his decision, indication, suggestion or the direction.

"As long as his leadership is concerned, that has been made clear and there is no chance of any confusion. When we have accepted someone as leader by consensus then we should move forward as per his directions," he told reporters on board Prime minister`s special aircraft while returning from Indonesia.

On Gandhi`s recent comment that he foresees a younger government, the senior party leader said, "You should ask that to Rahul Gandhi. Whenever he says something he says that after very careful thinking. He also said many other things such as his teachers have been his mother and the Prime Minister. You should also talk about that.

"If you want more details and clarifications on this, you will meet him here only one day and then you can ask him directly.

"Party does not need to ask anything on this as it knows what it needs to do. It is the media which keeps asking these questions," he said.

To questions on Narendra Modi, he said the Gujarat Chief Minister is trying to "blow himself up to a larger than life size".

"We need not spend all our time on preparing a strategy
to deal with Modi and I will rather let BJP do that," Khurshid emphasised.

According to him, as far as factual situation is concerned, there are enough number of people, not only in politics and Congress party, "who are making it clear what is the reality of people in Gujarat, whether it is about malnourishment figures, education etc".

On whether SP or BSP would be a better pre-poll ally in Uttar Pradesh, Khurshid said there are neither any formal discussions nor any decisions in this regard.

"AK Antony was asked to look into the issue of pre poll alliances and that will then be discussed further. We will do whatever our leaders decide on this issue," he said.

When asked about the government returning to power, he said there would be UPA 3.

"... I am quite confident that we will be back and we will form the government and we will have similar press conferences," he noted.

On who would head the new government, if it comes to power, the minister evaded a direct response and said, "it will be headed by the Prime Minister of the UPA 3".

Rahul Gandhi has all capabilities to become PM: Oscar Fernandes

Union Minister for Transport Road and Highways Oscar Fernandes joined the seniors among Congress` ranks like PC Chacko and Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde who have raised the "Rahul for PM" slogan in recent times.

Fernandes on Friday said that Rahul Gandhi had all capabilities to become the Prime Minister. "Rahul is a talented leader. He has all the capabilities to become Prime Minister," Fernandes responded to a question.

Union Shipping Minister GK Vasan too came out in support of the Congress Vice-President.

"Rahul has travelled from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and led the party in several elections. He is one of the youngsters in the party, and only one youngster who is the icon for today`s youngsters," Vasan said here separately.

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