Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh on Sunday said that Rahul Gandhi was now a mature person with sound political instincts and can become the prime minister.
"I think it is time that Rahul can become the Prime Minister," Singh said, talking to mediapersons. "Rahul is now 40 and he has been working for the party for the last seven to eight years," Singh said.
The scion of the Gandhi family had the right qualities, instincts and experience to take up the mantle of prime minister-ship now, Singh said. He rejected the contention that he was doing the politics of minority appeasement.
When he was the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, he had taken action against both the Students Islamic Movement of India as well as the Bajrang Dal, Singh pointed out.
"When Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is felicitated by Muslims, that is not called appeasement, but when I went to Azamgarh, I was opposed by the Ulema council on one hand and Rashtriya Swayaamsewak Sangh-Bharatiya Janata Party on the other."
About another former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Uma Bharti, who recently returned to BJP, Singh said it must not be forgotten that she once maintained that she would not be "true to her parents" if she went back to the party.
Singh added that he had prophesied the day Uma was expelled that she would return to BJP, as she would not find shelter anywhere else.
On the current rift between the government and the civil society over the Lokpal Bill, Singh said that non-elected members of society can never be equated with elected representatives, but the former's views have to be kept in mind.
That is why Congress President Sonia Gandhi included members of the civil society in the National Advisory Council, he said. Eminent people such as Aruna Roy, Jean Dreze and Harsh Mander, who had been been leading members of the civil society, were a part of the process of drafting of Lokpal Bill, he pointed out.
Singh said that since the United Progressive Alliance government was sensitive to corruption, it also included people like Shanti Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal into the drafting committee, though they were known to be anti-Congress.