'Rahul as VP will create problems for Congress'



New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi's elevation as Vice President could bring more problems for Congress if one were to go by history of the party , NCP, a key UPA constituent, indicated Tuesday.

"Whenever a Vice President was appointed, there were serious problems within Congress party and it has suffered a decline" NCP General Secretary D P Tripathi told reporters here.

Tripathi, who is also chief spokesman of the party, however hastened to add "I am merely drawing your attention to the history of appointment of Vice President. Whenever the vices of presidency began, there was appointment of Vice President in Congress party," he said.

Arjun Singh and Jitendra Prasada were appointed Vice Presidents by the then Congress chiefs Rajiv Gandhi and Sitaram Kesri respectively.

The NCP leader said he had nothing against Rahul Gandhi, who was appointed as the Congress Vice President at the Jaipur conclave and NCP extends its best wishes to whoever becomes the leader of Congress.

Replying to a question, Tripathi said NCP was "very happy" working under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and expected that he would be the PM candidate of UPA-III.

To questions of Prime Ministerial candidate in 2014 elections, the NCP leader said "if Dr Manmohan Singh is there, obviously he is the Prime Ministerial candidate".

He said it was for Congress to decide if they want somebody else as the Parliamentary party leader.

On the possibility of Rahul Gandhi's projection as the Prime Ministerial candidate, Tripathi said Congress was the biggest party of the alliance and it will decide on its leader.

"If a youth is a leader, then it is good," he said.

Asked whether NCP chief Sharad Pawar has given up on his Prime Ministerial ambitions, Tripathi said "Mr Pawar does not have the habit of dreaming. He believes in reality. The country will decide who will be the Prime Minister."

PTI