As the year ends, the speculation was rife about Rahul Gandhi not just exercising greater influence in the government, but even being appointed as the Congress’ prime ministerial candidate.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said: “Rahul Gandhi is the natural leader of the Congress.”
Tewari added that Congress president Sonia Gandhi had already said that if there was a need to declare the candidate, it would be done at a proper time and there was no need for any hurry.
The Minister’s views came after speculation became rife that Rahul may replace Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister, or even declared as prime ministerial candidate later this week.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram had earlier demanded that the Congress should declare its prime ministerial candidate soon.
Meanwhile, Manish Tewari denied that Manmohan Singh was stepping down from his post.
The Information and Broadcasting Minister refused to comment on BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s remark on Rahul Gandhi to ‘Akashavani’. However, the BJP was quick to take jibes at the Congress over the current speculation about the announcement of Rahul as PM candidate.Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said: “If they make Rahul Gandhi their prime ministerial candidate, then everybody knows what happened to the Congress in the Assembly elections.
“The whole country knows that Rahul could not click anywhere.” Senior BJP leader Muktar Abbas naqvi added that the Congress would not be able to wash away the taint of corruption with malgovernance.