Rahul Gandhi not reluctant to be PM after next LS polls: Sheila Dikshit

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has said Rahul Gandhi was not reluctant to take up the post of Prime Minister if the party decides so after coming to power in the Lok Sabha polls next year.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 17, 2013, 19:28 PM IST

New Delhi: As Rahul Gandhi continues to be the star campaigner for Congress, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has said he was not reluctant to take up the post of Prime Minister if the party decides so after coming to power in the Lok Sabha polls next year.
Dikshit, eyeing an unprecedented fourth victory in the assembly polls here, said the Congress Vice-President was working "very hard" to strengthen the party and that she would like him to occupy the top post if Congress comes out victorious in the general election.

"Rahul Gandhi is working very hard and the party is behind him. And if the party wins, the party will choose. He is not reluctant, he is travelling almost every day or every second day. He is running around the country," Dikshit told in an interview.

Heaping praise on Rahul, 75-year-old Dikshit said he was working tirelessly for the party and insisted that Congress does not have a tradition of announcing Prime Ministerial candidate beforehand.

"He has been made the Vice President of the party six months back. He is getting into that role. Let`s not talk of who is going to be the Prime Minister.

"We are going to strive hard to win the next general elections," she said, adding "I would like him to become Prime Minister because he is our next generation leader."

Asked whether the thought of becoming Prime Minister ever crossed her mind, Dikshit replied in negative.

"No. It really did not. There can be speculation and all kinds of things. I do my work like I think all politicians do," she said.

Asked about the December 4 assembly polls, Dikshit said
she was confident of a fourth straight victory as people of Delhi are aware of the good work done by her government in the last 15 years.

"I am going to the election with full confidence. We think we will get a majority," she said.

Ruling out the possibility of a hung house as predicted by opinion polls, she said the contest will be between Congress and BJP.

"I think people in Delhi would like a stable government and they understand the difference between a stable and an unstable government. I don`t foresee a hung assembly.

"We have been traditionally the two large parties in Delhi. I think when they cast their vote they know that the vote has a meaning. So I think they will vote for what they understand," she said.

Accusing BJP and Arvind Kejriwal`s Aam Admi Party of misleading people on various issues, she said her government had changed the face of Delhi and ensured inclusive growth while the the two opposition parties do not have any vision for the city.

She also dismissed allegations of corruption against her government levelled by AAP and BJP, saying though CAG and Shunglu Committee had made some observations, they were replied to appropriately.

"You want to give them (BJP and AAP) a chance on accusations which are baseless. Where is the CWG scam in the government of Delhi. Those who were proven to be involved in the scam went to jail. The CAG dropped all its insinuations.

"We answered to Shunglu committee`s report. So where is the corruption," she said.

Asked whether she supports full statehood for Delhi, Dikshit said she has been pressing for it for a long time.

"We have asked for all the time. There have been various committees on it. Delhi must get more powers and be a fuller state than it is today. We have mentioned it in all our manifestos and I have come to believe that whether you call us a state or not is a separate issue but there should be a coordinated single command," she said.

BJP has been attacking her for not pushing for full-statehood for Delhi when Congress is in power at the Centre.

Dikshit said a single command for ensuring speedy implementation of various projects and schemes must be put in place.

"Now you run to urban development for one thing, you run to home ministry for another thing, you run to law ministry because you want some laws passed and all that makes it a little cumbersome," she said.