MUMBAI: Stating that he was “happy” that Rahul Gandhi has made it clear he was not driven by prime ministerial ambitions, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said on Monday the party getting the maximum number of seats after 2019 polls would claim the post.
“Let elections take place, remove these people (BJP) from power. We will sit together. Whichever party has got more seats can claim the prime minister’s post,” Pawar, 78, said. “And I am happy that the Congress leader (Rahul Gandhi) has also said he is not in the race for the prime minister’s post,” he said at a party meeting in Mumbai.
His remarks have come a day after the Congress president said he was not driven by an ambition to become prime minister.
“I don’t have these visions. I view myself as fighting an ideological battle and this change has come in me after 2014. I realised that there’s a risk to Indian state, to Indian way of doing things and I’m defending that,” Gandhi said.
At the Mumbai meeting, Pawar reminded NCP leaders that the United Progressive Alliance, formed after the 2004 general election, had dislodged the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, formed in 1998. He said he will “try to go to each state and make regional parties which are not with the BJP to join us (the opposition alliance).”
“Congress is strong in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. In Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati-Akhilesh are there. Situation is different in each state. Hence, we will have to get along with parties which are strong in each state,” the former Union minister said.
Lok Janshakti Party leader and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Saturday that there was no vacancy for the post of prime minister in 2019.
He said the united opposition front should start worrying about the 2024 elections, as Modi faces no challenge in 2019.