‘Rahul will become PM’

AM Jigeesh | Updated on February 04, 2014

B. Manicka Tagore, MP, Virudhunagar. Photo: R. Ashok   -  The Hindu

Manicka Tagore, MP and Rahul Gandhi confidante, says the latter will give the party and country a new direction

The Congress has not declared a PM candidate, but Rahul Gandhi is your face in all publicity material. Does this not confuse the voter?

No one in the party is claiming that we are not projecting Rahul Gandhi as our leader. The party is fighting the 2014 elections under his leadership. But as far as the question of the PM candidate is concerned, there is a process. The Congress Parliamentary Party will meet after the election to elect its leader and there is no confusion within the party. Rahul Gandhi will be the leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party and will become the prime minister.

Are you scared of a comparison between Modi and Rahul in the general elections? Is that the real reason for not projecting Rahul Gandhi?

It’s not true. The BJP wants to convert the system into something like a Presidential form of Government. They want us to fall into that debate. The party’s position is that there is a way to elect the PM; it is for the MPs of the winning party to elect their leader. That is what the Constitution says. There are a number of PM aspirants in this election. Even the AIADMK, which contests just 40 seats, is projecting J Jayalalithaa as its PM candidate. All those who have projected themselves as PM candidates, except AB Vajpayee, have been defeated by the people of this country. People are wise enough to see what is right and wrong for the country.

Why isn’t the Congress working with the kind of passion Sonia Gandhi showed in 2004 and reaching out to parties that are committed to secularism?

Our campaign is based on strengthening the social fabric of the country. Rahul Gandhi, too, is vocal against such forces and he wants to see an empowered India free of casteist and communal forces.

Modi is just a show-off projected by the RSS. The RSS is exploiting print, electronic and social media to propagate this show-off. People of the country will turn away from this.

What about the alignment of regional parties?

We wish them the best. But the Third Front has never worked. The Congress has a young leader with a lot of new ideas. He will give the party and the country a new direction.

Published on February 03, 2014

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