The Agriculture Minister, whose party is a key partner in the UPA, saw no possibility of Gandhi being immediately projected as the PM candidate even if Congress does well in the key state.
"Congress party has projected him (Rahul Gandhi). He is the main campaigner, not Digvijay Singh nor any other leader ......Congress party may say anything but public at large and those who make analysis of elections, they will definitely pass the buck to him if he does not deliver," Pawar told CNN-IBN when asked whether Gandhi will be facing flak if Congress does not do well in the polls. Congress, on its part, sought to downplay Pawar's remarks with AICC spokesman Abhishek Singhvi saying it was "very unfair" to suggest that any one person should bear discredit or credit.
"I don't know whether Congress will project him immediately even after getting good results. I don't know whether Congress will immediately project him...They might wait for next elections also", Pawar said when asked whether Gandhi will be projected as the next PM candidate soon after the assembly polls. Replying to a question, he said "as of today, I don't see any change in the national leadership....basically Prime Ministership". Pawar, who this year is completing 45 years in electoral politics, announced his retirement saying he would not contest the next Lok Sabha elections.
The NCP supremo said that in Uttar Pradesh it looks like Samajwadi Party has "more advantage"of getting support from others in post-poll scenario.
"If they succeed in forming a government, it will be a boost for Congress. From UPA's stability angle, the situation will improve".