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No wrong in projecting Rahul as PM: Arjun

AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi gets the support of senior Congress leader and HRD Minister Arjun Singh for projection as the party's prime ministerial candidate in the next general elections. Chetan Chauhan reports.

india Updated: Apr 15, 2008 00:31 IST
Chetan Chauhan

AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi got the support of senior Congress leader and HRD Minister Arjun Singh for projection as the party's prime ministerial candidate in the next general elections.

Singh said on Monday that he found no problem in the Congress projecting Gandhi as its prime ministerial candidate, adding that the young leader has all qualities of his late father. Singh clarified that he was only giving the reasons for Gandhi being a prime ministerial candidate and was not saying that he should be projected. "Why not?" was his reply when asked whether Gandhi should be projected as the Congress's prime ministerial candidate.

"He (Rahul) has all the qualities of his father. He is making sincere efforts in acquiring the information and knowledge that is required," the HRD Minister said.

Singh, however, refused to get drawn into a controversy over who the Congress should project as prime ministerial candidate when asked to react to NCP chief Sharad Pawar's comment that Manmohan Singh should be the UPA's next prime ministerial candidate. "These are individual views. It is for the UPA to decide. The party's view would be mine," he said.

Singh avoided answering questions related to the Congress's plans for next Lok Sabha elections. "I am not the competent person to answer these questions," he said when asked about Pawar's suggestion that the UPA should contest the polls jointly.

On the increasing inflation, Singh said it would have an impact on coming elections but insisted that the government was taking steps to control the price rise. Some steps have been taken and the results would be visible in the coming days, he said, adding that the procurement of rice and wheat would start soon and lead to an increase in the stocks and that there would be no scarcity. The price rise would be a thing of the past by the time the country goes to the polls, Singh said.

On the 27 per cent quota for OBCs, Singh said the UPA coordination committee would meet after the reconvening of Parliament on April 15 to sort out differences on the creamy layer issue.