New Delhi: Pitching for Rahul Gandhi as Congress` Prime Ministerial candidate in 2014 general elections, Uttarkhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna on Sunday said the party needs to project its leader for next 20 years.
"Old order changes yielding place to the new. We have to project a leader for the future not only for one election but for the next 20 years and Rahul Gandhi fills that slot," Bahuguna told reporters here.
Amid different versions emerging within the Congress on whether Gandhi should be assuming a "larger role" in next few months within the party or within the government or both, Bahuguna said he should discharge responsibilities in both.
"Rahul Gandhi is a capable person. He should work both in the party as well as the government," he said.
Asked how bringing Rahul in the forefront can improve Congress` chances in general elections when the party fared so badly in Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections where Gandhi led the charge, Bahuguna pointed out that Rahul Gandhi was not the chief ministerial face of Congress in that election.
He felt that Gandhi`s projection as a Prime Ministerial face will shore up Congress fortunes in next Lok Sabha elections.
To a question on whether people will accept Rahul Gandhi`s Prime Ministerial candidature, the Chief Minister expressed confidence that it will happen "naturally".
"When people accept Congress, naturally he (Rahul Gandhi) is the man putting his foot forward," he said.
Bahuguna, who became Chief Minister surmounting a massive rebellion in the faction-ridden party state unit a few months back, felt "indiscipline should not be tolerated at any cost".
"What Congress today requires is to inculcate discipline. We have great policies and programmes but there is a lot of indiscipline in the party. No political party can function without discipline. Infighting has to go," he said when asked about the expectations from Rahul Gandhi assuming a bigger role.
Indicating that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has had his innings at the helm, Bahuguna had yesterday said, "The Prime Minister is completing his two terms. Now, Rahul Gandhi should lead the party in the 2014 elections".