Ajit Jogi wants Congress to project PM candidate ahead of Lok Sabha polls

Congress should give up the "general practice" of not projecting a leader ahead of the assembly elections, a senior leader said today striking a different note in the run-up to a series of electoral battles.

Former Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi insists that the Congress should realise that a national party has to cater to both national and regional aspirations.

"As a national party in each state, we will not succeed unless we strike a balance," he contends in an interview to PTI. He wants Congress also to project a prime ministerial candidate ahead of the Lok Sabha polls which are 15 months away.

Asked whether Congress should project a leader before the Assembly polls, he said, "It is my personal opinion that a decision should be taken state wise and not a general rule be followed.

"Depending upon circumstances in each state, we should project a leader or not project a leader. We projected a leader in Himachal Pradesh and that yielded results, whereas in the past we have not projected, but there also we have got results," he says.

The general practice in the party is not to project a leader. It is only after elected MLAs views are taken, observers are sent and the Congress president decides, the 67- year-old leader says.

This is perhaps for the first time in recent years that any Congress leader has spoken out on the issue. Jogi was the first chief minister of Chhattisgarh after it was carved out of Madhya Pradesh over a decade back. Chhattisgarh is going to polls by the end of this year along with Madhya Pradesh,

Rajasthan and Delhi where Congress and BJP are principal opponents. Jogi replied in the affirmative when asked whether Congress should project a prime ministerial candidate. "We should say that the next leader of the country will be from Nehru-Gandhi family. This is my personal feeling.

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.