Less than 48 hours after saying that Congress is not averse to supporting any regional party leader for the Prime Minister's post, the party has made a shocking U-turn. The party is now setting terms to its allies in the mahagathbandhan and saying that it stands to form the government.
"No, this is not true that Congress will not claim or Congress is not interested in Prime Minister post. Of course, we are the biggest and oldest political party. If we have to run the government for five years, the biggest political party should be given a chance. But amidst the elections we should not fight over who is going to be the PM and we should have consensus and consensus should be first on the Congress government. Congress is going to have maximum number of MPs, if you want a stable government and if you want a stable government to deliver and survive the five years then the Congress is the only political party which is competent. We have seen in the past whenever Congress has headed the government, it has lasted for five years.
"We have seen how the IK Gujral and HD Deve Gowda government did not last for full term. If you want to see the longevity of the government, Congress is the only alternative," Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
Sachin Pilot too echoed the leader saying that only his party can defeat the BJP at the national level.
"Congress remains the only party that can challenge and defeat BJP in the national level, every party has a role to play, I have great regards for regional parties," he said.
Earlier the Azad had said it was not averse to support regional party leader as PM. "The Congress is not averse to supporting any regional party leader for the Prime Minister's post even if it emerges as the single largest party," he said.
"My party high command has already made it clear that the Congress is not averse to making a prime minister from any regional party," Azad had told the media.
He was asked if the Congress will be ready to support any regional party leader for the PM's post even if it emerges as the largest party in a hung Parliament.
Speaking in the same vein in Patna on Wednesday, Azad had said the Congress will not make it an issue if the PM's post is not offered to it.
Azad's remarks assume significance as the Congress has been asserting that it would be the fulcrum of any non-NDA government, which was seen as its claim for the PM's post and had led some major regional parties to maintain a distance from it.
"It will be good if there is a consensus on Congress leader's name for heading the government at the Centre after the Lok Sabha election results are out but we are not going to make it an issue that we (Congress) will not let any other (leader) to become the PM, if it is not offered to us (Congress)," Azad had said in Patna, in an apparent mellowing of Congress' stand.
The Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha had said the sole objective of the Congress is to stop the NDA from forming the government at the Centre and installing a non-NDA government.