People to decide if Rahul can pose a realistic challenge to PM Modi in 2019, says Nitish | india-news | Hindustan Times
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People to decide if Rahul can pose a realistic challenge to PM Modi in 2019, says Nitish

Bihar CM Kumar was responding to a question on Rahul Gandhi’s imminent anointment as Congress chief, after Diwali, and whether he will be in a position to challenge the NDA in the next general election.

india Updated: Oct 16, 2017 19:30 IST
Anil Kumar
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar talking to reporters in Patna on Monday.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar talking to reporters in Patna on Monday. (Santosh/HT photo)

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said here on Monday that the elevation of Rahul Gandhi as the Congress president may be a settled issue but the question as to whether he would become PM after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, would be decided by the people of the country.

“I have been hearing about Rahul’s expected elevation for quite some time now. If he becomes the Congress president, it is good. Even otherwise, he is the all in all in his party,” Kumar said while talking to the media after his weekly Lok Samvad programme.

Kumar was responding to a question on Rahul Gandhi’s imminent anointment as Congress chief, after Diwali, and whether he will be in a position to challenge the NDA in the next general election.

The chief minister said that though this was an internal matter of the Congress, everything in the party played out on the predicted format. “Rahul’s elevation is a no brainer. But the question regarding ‘who’ will become ‘what’ after 2019 elections will only be settled by the electorate,” he said.

Soon after he had dumped the Grand Alliance partners, the Congress and RJD, to form a new government with the support of estranged former partner—the BJP, in July, Kumar had practically ruled out any challenge to PM Narendra Modi in the 2019 poll.

“No one in the Opposition camp has the capacity to measure up to him.” He had stated in his first interaction with the media after he broke the grand alliance over RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav’s ‘refusal’ to answer corruption charges levelled against him by the CBI.

His criticism of the working of the Congress came a day after he lavished full praise on Narendra Modi, once again on Sunday, at a book release function, saying he was one PM who believed in leading from the front in doing what was in the best interest of the nation.

On being asked whether he was in agreement with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s assertion that states should bring real estate under the purview of GST, Kumar said he had already expressed support to the idea.

“But a decision in the matter could not be taken owing to paucity of time before the GST roll out. GST is a new thing and issues will be settled as they get flagged”, Kumar added.

In response to RJD chief Lalu Prasad terming him (Kumar) a ‘coward’, from whom he would never take support in future, the chief minister said he preferred not to speak on the subject involving a person who was facing the ‘logical outcome’ of his misdeeds.