Congress has never insisted on Rahul as PM: Chidambaram

Chennai: The Congress has never said “officially” that its president Rahul Gandhi should be the prime minister if an opposition alliance formed the next government, senior party leader P Chidambaram said Monday.

He insisted the Congress’ focus was on dislodging the BJP government and bringing in a “progressive” alternative.

Chidambaram said the decision on who will be the prime minister in the event of an opposition alliance winning next year’s Lok Sabha poll will be taken by its constituents.

“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,” he told News 18 Tamil TV channel.

“We don’t have an issue over prime ministership,” he said. The former union finance minister said the Congress’ primary focus was on removing the BJP government and replacing it with a progressive alternative.

“We want a government that doesn’t snatch human freedom, one that doesn’t intimidate citizens, one that doesn’t impose tax terrorism on traders and entrepreneurs,” he said. Safety of women and children should be a key characteristic of such a government which would strive to ensure that farmers do not lose their livelihood, he said.

“That is our intention. The Congress party never said the prime minister should be from the party. Rahul Gandhi never said so. An alliance should take shape, that alliance should win, and the alliance parties will decide who will be the prime minister,” he added.