KOLKATA: Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi has criticised the Trinamool Congress for trying to undermine the leadership of Rahul Gandhi and said Mamata Banerjee's party does not want him as the next prime minister of the country.
His comments came just days after the mega opposition rally convened by TMC in Kolkata, which was attended by senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, apart from top leaders of various other parties.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi had deputed Kharge and Singhvi and had wished the opposition rally a success.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi will be the prime minister of the country after 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Gogoi asserted at a rally in Rampurhat in West Bengal's Birbhum district on Tuesday.
"Recently, TMC organised an opposition rally. But they have a problem with Rahul Gandhi. They don't want him as next prime minister of the country. But I want to say it loud and clear that Rahul Gandhi will be the next prime minister of the country. The next government at the Centre will be formed under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi," Gogoi, the party's in-charge for West Bengal, said.
He had in December last year questioned TMC's silence in congratulating Rahul Gandhi after Congress' win in the three Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhatisgarh.
He had said the TMC leaders were having "sleepless nights" fearing their dream of Mamata Banerjee becoming the prime minister may not be fulfilled.
Reacting to Gogoi's comments, TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee said it mattered little as senior Congress leaders attended the opposition rally.
Meanwhile, West Bengal Congress president Somen Mitra ruled out any alliance with the TMC for the Lok Sabha polls.
"We are willing to fight in all the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state. If secular and democratic forces want to fight against TMC and BJP, we will also talk with them," Mitra said.