Congress won`t gain much even if Rahul Gandhi is declared PM candidate: BJP

Amid growing clamour within the Congress to name party`s prime ministerial candidate for the Lok Sabha polls in 2014, the main opposition party, BJP, on Tuesday said that it wont help the ruling party even if it declares Rahul Gandhi as its unanimous choice for the top job.

By Ritesh K Srivastava | Last Updated: Dec 31, 2013, 12:36 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava

New Delhi: Amid growing clamour within the Congress to name party`s prime ministerial candidate for the Lok Sabha polls in 2014, the main opposition party, BJP, on Tuesday said that it wont help the ruling party even if it declares Rahul Gandhi as its unanimous choice for the top job.

In a scathing attack on the Congress, senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said, “If Congress announces Rahul Gandhi as PM candidate there is no possibility that his party will perform better in coming elections under his leadership.”

“Congress will face a lot of problems declaring Rahul Gandhi as PM candidate,” the senior BJP leader said adding, “The Congress-led UPA government is non-functional, only option before nation is for the Election Commission to call for fresh election.”

BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi too endorsed Sinha`s views by saying, “PM Manmohan Singh opting out of PM race to make way for Rahul Gandhi won`t help Congress.”

The reactions from BJP leaders came in the wake of reports which said that Dr Manmohan Singh, who has supposedly taken a back seat and not likely to contest for the PM`s chair paving way for party vice president Rahul Gandhi, will address a press conference on January 3.
The press conference will be Singh’s second such interaction in his second term as the Prime Minister, which began in May 2009 though he has met five editors and a group of television editors once each. He had addressed a press conference in his first term (2004-2009).

Importantly, the PM has decided to interact with the media ahead of the All-India Congress Committee session on January 17 that may see party workers clamour for formally naming Rahul Gandhi as the PM candidate.

Also the press conference comes amid speculation that Singh may announce that he will make for Rahul Gandhi.
In September, the Prime Minister had described Rahul Gandhi as an ideal PM candidate for 2014 and even added for effect, that he would be happy to serve under him.

Yesterday, senior Congress leader and Finance Minister P Chidambaram had demanded that the Congress should project its prime ministerial candidate for the forthcoming general elections.

"In my view, the party (Congress) should project a person as the leader of the party who will become prime minister if the party forms the government. That is my view, but it is for the party to decide," he said in an interview to a television channel.