Congress strikes discordant note as RJD backs Nitish as PM nominee

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Patna, Apr 22: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar may have got the backing of RJD on the former's possible projection as a PM candidate but grand secular alliance's other prominent constituent Congress today struck a discordant note terming the exercise as 'premature' one.

"This is not the right time to talk on the issue as Lok Sabha elections will be held in 2019 and much waters would flow from river Ganges in the coming three years," Education Minister Ashok Choudhary told PTI.

Nitish Kumar

Choudhary, who is also the president of Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee, said that it was a number game and which ever party will have numbers with all India stake (presence) will be able to form government at the Centre.

[Is Nitish Kumar smelling an opportunity to become the next PM?]

"We (Congress) have a nationwide stake and will have more numbers than any other party (in comparison to parties doing secular politics)," he said while citing the example of Bihar where Congress agreed to contest 41 out of 243 assembly seats leaving 100 each seats for JD(U) and RJD which have larger stakes in Bihar.

"There is nothing wrong in it that every party wants to see its leader as PM. RJD wants Lalu Prasad as PM, TMC wants Mamata as PM. Similarly, Congress party wants its leader Rahul Gandhi to be the Prime Minister," the Bihar Congress chief said.

So far as debate over PM candidate is concerned, Nitish Kumar has himself categorically stated that he was not the claimant for the PM's post, Choudhary said while referring to Nitish's assertion that no alternative alliance was possible without Congress.

Earlier, party General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed had virtually ruled out an alliance at the national level in the next Lok Sabha polls.

"By the time 2019 approaches, things will make a downslide so much for the Modi dispensation that there will be no need for any alliance," he said, adding that people of India will themselves pitch for an 'RSS and BJP-mukt bharat'.

PTI

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