Rahul Gandhi Would Be Prime Ministerial Candidate: Salman Khurshid

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New Delhi: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s elevation to the post of party chief would give him the ‘right entitlement’ to lead the alliance that takes on the BJP in the 2019 polls, senior party leader Salman Khurshid has said amid strong indications of the Gandhi scion’s promotion.

Khurshid also told in an interview that Rahul Gandhi’s taking over as the party’s president would be a ‘psychological’ boost, which would attract more youngsters and give an ‘additional splurge of energy’ to the party.

Asked about his earlier comments that Congress president Sonia Gandhi would continue to play a major role in the country’s politics even after the transition, he said, “It is more of a hope than a definite assertion or fact.”

“She wouldn’t want to crowd the new leader. They will work out, I am sure, a very interesting and a very useful relationship in terms of political presence,” Khurshid said.
However, he warned that alliances can be damaging if not done properly and should be struck with an objective and in a manner that strengthens the party.

Asked if Rahul Gandhi was the best choice to lead an alliance to take on the BJP in 2019, Khurshid said when the Congress vice president takes over as its chief, he will represent a party which would be the largest contributing part to an alliance.

Asked if some regional parties and leaders may oppose Rahul Gandhi’s leadership for such a coalition, Khurshid said, “I hope not, but it will be negotiated amongst the leaders and he (Rahul) will be among the top leaders there.”Sources in the party have already indicated that Rahul Gandhi could take over as the party chief after Diwali.

Asked if the Congress would announce the prime ministerial candidate for 2019 polls in a departure from tradition, Khurshid said “it goes without saying” that Rahul Gandhi’s taking over the leadership role implies that he would be the prime ministerial candidate.

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