Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said he would "refuse" to become Prime Minister "now" as he does not have the experience required for the top post.
"Now ... I would refuse," he said at a press conference when asked whether he would accept Prime Ministership in the near future. "I do not think I have the experience to be the Prime Minister of the country right now," said 39-year-old Gandhi who was flanked by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
He also said that he was working for developing a strong pro-poor Youth Congress, an initiative that has borne fruit in Punjab and Gujarat. During the nearly hour-long press meet, Gandhi responded to a volley of question ranging from the situation in Sri Lanka to the Left Front government performance in West Bengal.
When asked how prepared he thinks to be at this point of time if the opportunity to become the Prime Minister of the country arises in the not so distant future, Gandhi listed two reasons for not accepting the Prime Ministership.
"One is that I am working in the organisation of the Congress party which I think is fundamental for this country. I think it is very important for a strong, progressive, pro-poor youth organisation is developed in this country and that is a very, very big priority of mine.
"Number two is I don't think I have the experience to be the Prime Minister of the country right now," said Gandhi, who has batted strongly for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh continuing in the post if the UPA returns to power.
Gandhi struck an agressive note on being quizzed about the Bofors controversy and the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and whether he was prepared to apologise for them. "There is absolutely nothing to apologise about Bofors. It is a lie," he said adding that the controversy was a "calumny" spread by the opposition.