Congress President Rahul Gandhi addresses a corner meeting during an election campaign. (Source: PTI)

Congress Never Insisted On Rahul As Prime Minister, Says Chidambaram

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram today said that the party had never "officially" said that its president Rahul Gandhi should be the prime minister if an opposition alliance formed the next government.

He insisted the Congress' focus was on dislodging the BJP government and bringing in a "progressive" alternative. Chidambaram said the decision on who will be the prime minister in the eventuality of an opposition alliance will be taken by its constituents.

"...When one or two persons spoke about it, the AICC leadership asked them not to discuss the issue," he told News 18 Tamil TV channel. "We don't have an issue over prime ministership."

"We want a government that doesn't snatch human freedom, one that doesn't intimidate citizens, one that doesn't impose tax terrorism on traders and entrepreneurs," he said. Safety of women and children should be a key characteristic of such a government which would strive to ensure that farmers do not lose their livelihood, he said.

"An alliance should take shape, that alliance should win, and the alliance parties will decide who will be the prime minister," he said.

Also read: IL&FS Crisis, Rupee Plunge Indicate Government Unable To Manage Economy: Chidambaram