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Rahul as PM nominee: Cong refrains from commenting

February 18, 2013 21:20 IST

Congress on Monday refrained from commenting on demands from party leaders that Rahul Gandhi should be declared its prime ministerial candidate before the 2014 elections, reminding that he has made it clear that his focus now is on strengthening the party.

"Everyone is clear about what Rahul Gandhi has said. He has asked everyone to strengthen the party and the focus (of party workers) should be like that," was the brief response of party spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary.

She was replying to questions about some party leaders including Ajit Jogi, Beni Prasad Verma and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna demanding that Gandhi be named the next prime ministerial candidate and that he would be at the helm in the event of UPA returning to power in 2014.

Chowdhary also said that this is about democracy and that Congress party would do it democratically.

The spokesperson also downplayed Verma's remarks that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi would lose his security deposit if he contests the upcoming general elections from Gonda.

To a question whether Congress has any problem if Modi becomes the prime minister, the Congress spokesperson merely said, "We have neither any jubilation nor any objection about it. Modi can try but that doesn't mean that he would become one".

She also dismissed the remarks of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind leader Maulana Mehmood Madani that there is growing acceptance of the Gujarat chief minister among Muslims.

"It is his opinion and not all Muslims have said that," Chowdhary said.

BJP has welcomed the praise for Modi from unexpected quarters, saying the comments of Madani showed everybody is reconciling to the fact he is an able administrator.

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