New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi yet again played the “I’m flexible” card by saying that he is willing to be the Prime Minister if allies want him to take the top job, but the first step for all parties is to get together and defeat the BJP.
“We have had discussions with allies and what we decided is that this is a two stage process — one is to get together and defeat the BJP, and stage two is, once the election is over then we will decide what happens,” the Congress president said at an event in Delhi.
When probed further about the possibility of him becoming Prime Minister, Gandhi said, “If they (allies) want me, sure… I will.”
This is the second time in five months that the Congress president has made public his prime ministerial ambition. Earlier, while campaigning for Karnataka elections, Mr Gandhi had suggested that he would be the Prime Minister if the Congress emerged as the single largest party after the Lok Sabha elections.
His comment came on a day when BJP president Amit Shah challenged the Congress to an “open debate” on the development works
done by his party during its rule, as compared to the work done by chief minister Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh and the Prime Minister at the Centre.
“We are ready for an open debate with the Congress on development works done by its governments in 55 years as against the 15 years of Raman Singh’s government in Chhattisgarh and five years of the Narendra Modi government,” he said at a rally in poll-bound Chhattisgarh.
Earlier, Mr Gandhi downplayed BSP chief Mayawati decision to rule out an alliance with the Congress in the upcoming state Assembly polls, but exuded confidence that the two parties will get together for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
He said that the BSP chief’s move to not align with his party would not impact Congress’ fortunes in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls slated to be held later this year.
“Alliance in the states and at the Centre are two different things and Mayawati has sort of indicated that. I don’t see the BSP not aligning (with Congress) will impact us in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan,” he said.
Stressing on adopting a flexible approach in talks for alliance, he said, “We were flexible in the states (about seat sharing). In fact I was more flexible than some of our state leaders. We were in the midst of talks when they (BSP) decided to go their own way.” Earlier this week Ms Mayawati had praised Mr Gandhi and UPA chairperson Mrs. Sonia Gandhi but hit out at senior Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Digvijaya Singh for jeopardising the alliance talks.