Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday appeared to have made a u-turn saying his party must be given a chance if a stable government is needed at the Centre, in remarks that came a day after he had said that Congress was only keen on defeating NDA and the prime minister’s post was not its primary concern.
“No, it is not true that Congress will not claim the Prime Minister’s post. We are the biggest and the oldest political party. If the government is to run for five years, the biggest political party should be given a chance. But what I have been saying is that while we are in the midst of elections we should not fight among ourselves. It (PM’s post) should be decided by consensus,” Azad told ANI here.
On Thursday, Azad had asserted that his party was only interested in defeating NDA and getting the Prime Minister’s post was not its primary concerns.
“We have already made our stand clear. If a consensus is made in the favour of Congress, then the party will take the leadership but our aim has always been that NDA government should not come.”
“We will go with the unanimous decision. We are not going to make an issue that we (Congress) will not let anyone else become the Prime Minister if it is not offered to us (Congress),” Azad told reporters on Thursday.
On Friday, Azad said his party was going to become the largest party post elections aiming for 273-plus seats on their own.
“Congress is going to have the maximum number of members in Parliament. We are looking to secure 273-plus seats this time, which is easily achievable for us. We have done it in the past, we will do it again,” he said.
He also expressed hope that the Congress government under Rahul Gandhi would give the country a stable government for the next five years.
“Rahul Gandhi is competent enough to become the Prime Minister of the country. Manmohan Singhji, Atalji’s government lasted for the full term because they had the largest number of MPs, so if you want a stable government this time Congress is the only choice,” he said.
Azad’s statements came after parties in the NDA alliance, especially BJP, urged the mahagathbandhan to declare its prime ministerial candidate. NDA claimed there was a lack of unanimity between the opposition in the Lok Sabha elections.