Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who is on a three-day visit to Karnataka, on Tuesday said that he was ready to become the Prime Minister of India if his party won a majority in 2019 Lok Sabha Elections.
During his interaction at the launch of the Samruddha Bharat Foundation in Bengaluru, Rahul was asked whether he will become the prime minister of India.
"Well it depends... it depends on how well the Congress party does. If the Congress party is the biggest party, yes," the Gandhi scion responded to the question.
He later went on to claim that neither the BJP will return to power in 2019 nor Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be re-elected to his post.
"It is highly unlikely that BJP will form the next government, and the second part is that it is close to impossible that Modi will be the next prime minister," he said.
Gandhi was elected as the Congress president in December 2017 and took the reins from his mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. Rahul is heading Congress at a time when the party is at its weakest. While the Narendra Modi-led BJP is in power in 21 of 29 states in the country, the Congress is ruling only 4 states (Punjab, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Karnataka) and one Union Territory (Puducherry) in India.
So, now the moot question has arisen is - will it be so easy for Rahul Gandhi to become the Prime Minister of India?
Although, the 2019 Lok Sabha election will put an end to all these speculations, the road to India's Prime Ministership will pass through the Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took a dig at Gandhi over his PM remarks while the National Congress Party (NCP) came in his support.
BJP's remarks on Rahul Gandhi:
Making fun of Gandhi's remarks, the BJP said, the Congress president, who is harbouring 'lofty dreams' despite his party’s losing spree, should first try to win state elections.
BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said while it is Gandhi’s right to “dream” about becoming the prime minister, even Congress’ allies were not accepting him as their leader. He reminded Gandhi that after he became Congress vice president, "his party lost 13 states and after he took over as party president, it has lost five states and Karnataka will be the sixth one".
"Look at the irony, Congress is losing state after state ever since Gandhi took over as party’s vice president and then party chief. But he is dreaming to become the prime minister. Even Congress’ allies are not accepting him as their leader," Hussain told PTI.
The BJP leader emphasised that the country will once again elect Narendra Modi as their prime minister. “Aakhir dil ki baat zubaan par aa hi gayi (Finally what was in his heart has come out,” Hussain said on Gandhi’s remarks
The National Congress Party (NCP) on Rahul Gandhi:
On the other hand, the NCP said there was nothing wrong in Gandhi’s statement that he is ready to become the prime minister if his party wins the maximum number of seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which was part of the UPA government from 2004 to 2014, is expected to ally with the Congress again for the general elections next year.
NCP national spokesman Nawab Malik said there was nothing to object to Gandhi’s statement. “If people decide to entrust the Congress with the job of ruling the country, he (Rahul Gandhi) will be the prime ministerial candidate,” he said.