Reacting to Congress Leader and Rajya Sabha Opposition leader, Ghulam Nabi Azad's claims that Congress will nominate the Prime Minister as its the 'grand old party', BJP Spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao, on Friday, said that Congress is fighting to elect the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha should not dream of Prime Minister.
"Congress Party is fighting this polls on the basis of winning the Leader of the Opposition post. While their Rajya Sabha Opposition leader is Ghulam Nabi Azad, their Lok Sabha representative Mallikarjun Kharge is saying that they will win 55 seats to win the Leader of the Opposition post. So a party who is fighting to be the leader of Opposition, how can they claim such dreams of nominating the Prime Ministerial candidate. May 23 which will be a black day for the Congress party will see its chief Rahul Gandhi leave the country after handing all responsibilities to his mother Sonia Gandhi. The question is whether Congress will win 55 seats or not," he said.
Earlier in the day, 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 the 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," said Rajya Sabha Opposition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.
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.
Previously, 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.
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.