RSS, VHP nod to Modi as PM candidate; Cong calls him state leader

Rahul Gandhi

Despite a section of the BJP and the RSS as well as VHP leaders seeing him as the PM candidate, the Congress sought to project Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as a state leader.

It also steered clear of questions whether the next Lok Sabha polls will be a Rahul Gandhi vs Narendra Modi tussle.

"Whom to project as the PM candidate is the internal matter of the BJP and since Modi is Gujarat Chief Minister, the Gujarat PCC will appropriately respond to whatever he has said," was the response of party spokesman Rashid Alvi to reporters.

He said that the Congress would like to see Rahul, who is its leader, to become the next Prime Minister.

But, Alvi insisted that the party does not name its PM candidate before elections and the leader is chosen by the high command along with the newly elected members of Parliament.

The Congress spokesman dismissed suggestions that Modi through his speech here yesterday had hijacked Rahul Gandhi's agenda of connecting with youth.

Yesterday, the Gujarat Chief Minister used S college platform here to project himself nationally saying his focus was on development politics and not that of vote-bank, which he said has "ruined" the nation.

Eariler, in an oblique hint, RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat appeared to back Narendra Modi as BJP's prime ministerial candidate but said the party will be responsible for the consequences of its decision.

Speaking at the VHP 'dharma sansad', a gathering of religious leaders, he referred to the clamour for Modi as PM candidate at the meet and also elsewhere.

Without referring to the Gujarat Chief Minister by name, Bhagwat said, "People know what is in your heart. The whole country is echoing with the same voice.

"And that is why we should not interfere in what should be done. They (BJP) will have to take a decision on what is to be done... Whatever we may say, those who should do it, it is their right. We should allow them to do it. If what they do comes out wrong, then we should let them eat the fruits as well."

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