NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has suggested that the All India Congress Committee (AICC) president Rahul Gandhi “may not be” the prime ministerial candidate in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The Kerala MP said that his party would certainly have alliances with other parties before going into the polls but a decision of the PM candidate would be taken collectively.
The decision on the prime ministerial face of the Congress-led alliance would be a collective one as “party has a broader notion of a leader unlike the BJP,” he said.
Tharoor said that there is no dearth of talented and capable leaders in the party and mentioned the likes of Pranab Mukherjee and P Chidambaram for their excellent track record in their political career.
“We had people like Pranab Mukherjee, P Chidambaram, and others having a tremendous track record,” he stated.
Tharoor, however, said that Rahul is the unquestionable choice of Congress workers as their leader.
The Thiruvananthapuram MP maintained that if free and fair elections are held, Congress led by Rahul Gandhi would win big in polls.
After his controversial “scorpion analogy”, the Congress MP yet again took a dig at PM Narendra Modi and called him a “hero on a white stallion with an upraised sword in his hand”.
He also accused the PM of being a one-man government before whom everybody is dancing.
Tharoor also claimed that India now has the “most centralised PMO” in its history.
“Every decision is taken by the PMO (prime minister’s office). Every file has to be sent to the PMO for approval,” he claimed.
Tharoor had courted a fresh controversy at the Bangalore Literature Festival on Sunday when he claimed that an unnamed RSS leader had compared PM Modi to “a scorpion sitting on a Shivling” and “you cannot remove him with your hand and you cannot hit it with a chappal either”.
Inteestingly, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram had last month said that the Congress has never ‘officially’ said that its president Rahul Gandhi should be the prime minister if an opposition alliance formed the next government.
He insisted the Congress’ focus was on dislodging the BJP government and bringing in a “progressive” alternative.
“The Congress party has not officially said Rahul Gandhi should be installed as prime minister. When one or two persons spoke about it, the AICC leadership asked them not to discuss the issue. An alliance should take shape, that alliance should win, and the alliance parties will decide who will be the PM,” Chidambaram had said this in an interview to a Tamil TV channel.