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Day After Retreating from 'Rahul for PM' Call, Ghulam Nabi Azad Says Biggest Party Must be Given Chance

Ghulam Nabi Azad's statement comes just a day after he said, “We are not going to make it an issue that we (Congress) will not let any other (leader) to become the PM, if it is not offered to us (Congress).”


Updated:May 18, 2019, 12:06 AM IST

New Delhi: Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday denied that the Congress was not interested in the Prime Minister’s post, just a day after claiming that the grand old party would not make it an issue if the top post was not offered to it.

“No, this is not true that Congress will not claim or Congress is not interested in the prime minister’s post. Of course, we are the biggest and oldest political party. If we have to run the government for five years, the biggest political party should be given a chance,” Azad was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The statement of the leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha comes just a day after he said, “We are not going to make it an issue that we (Congress) will not let any other (leader) to become the PM, if it is not offered to us (Congress).”

The statement was being seen as a subtle hint to allies as well as prospective partners of the Congress just ahead of the final phase of elections, given that the party has earlier tried to position its chief Rahul Gandhi as the prime minister if it makes a decent showing in polls. This despite the fact that Gandhi has repeatedly denied being interested in the post. While leaders such as MK Stalin, Tejashwi Yadav and even Arvind Kejriwal have said they are ready to support Gandhi, stalwarts such as Sharad Pawar feel West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Mayawati are better suited for the role.

Azad, also the leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, said the sole aim of the Congress was to oust the NDA government. “We are in the last phase of elections and I can say on the basis of my experience during campaigning across the country that neither BJP nor NDA is going to return to power at the Centre. Narendra Modi is also not going to become the prime minister for the second time... Non-NDA non-BJP government will be installed at the Centre after the Lok Sabha elections," he told reporters here.​

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