New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi will be the party’s prime ministerial candidate in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
In response to a media query on who will be prime ministerial face for the general elections, at a press conference following the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Sunday, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “Naturally, the Congress president would be the only face to be projected. The Congress would fight this election by putting forward our leader.”
On Alliance, Surjewala said, “We expect to better our performance of 2004. People will decide. Once the Congress party becomes the single largest party, touching the same magic figure of 200 or more, naturally the Congress party will be leading, and whoever else wants to come and walk hand in hand (are welcome).”
On the CWC meeting, senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “The meeting was to strengthen the party and to discuss the issue of alliance for 2019 Lok Sabha elections.”
Echoing the similar sentiments Congress leader Sachin Pilot said, “We are here to make strategies to improve the present condition of the country which is worsening day by day. There is no greed for a post in the Congress. The country is important for us.”
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar told ANI that the party committed to fight against the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ideology (BJP) and save the Constitution.
“We believe that Congress party is the one which can give fight to BJP’s ideology. If the RSS has ever lost to someone it is the Congress party’s Idea of India. We should keep this in mind and take everyone along to save the Constitution,” Babbar said.
Former Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister M. Veerappa Moily called Rahul Gandhi’s speech “dynamic”. Moily said, “Rahul’s speech today was excellent and dynamic as expected. Now, he knows that on what direction the Congress should go. Modi should be thrown out and the unity among all Opposition parties is a must. The focus of today’s CWC meeting was on how to strengthen the party. The ultimate goal is to defeat the present government.”
Rahul Gandhi on Sunday confirmed that the party is setting up a group look into the alliance issue for 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The Congress chief said, “We are setting up a group that is going to do that (alliance).”
Gandhi has been authorised to form election campaign committee and take decisions on the pre-poll and post-poll alliance, AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot confirmed.
At the meeting the party kept had focused discussion on how to strengthen the party, the issue of alliance, how to highlight failures of the Narendra Modi government effectively, etc.
Among those present at the meeting include former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, top Congress leaders AK Antony, Motilal Vora, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge and Ashok Gehlot among others.
Earlier this week, Rahul rejigged the CWC and dropped senior party leaders like Digvijaya Singh, Kamal Nath, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Mohan Prakash, CP Joshi and Shashi Tharoor from the committee. He also appointed some new members including Jyotiraditya Scindia, Jitin Prasada, Tarun Gogoi, Siddaramaiah, Sheila Dikshit, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjun Kharge.
The new CWC includes 23 members, 19 permanent invitees, and nine special invitees.
The CWC meeting comes just a few days after a joint opposition faced a decisive defeat from the ruling Narendra Modi government in the no-confidence motion vote held in the Lok Sabha on July 20. (ANI)