In an attempt to ward off pressure by UPA allies on the choice of prime minister in a post-poll scenario, Congress on Friday ruled out any rethinking on Manmohan Singh as its candidate for the job.
"Let there be no doubt in any body's mind that UPA government is led and will be led by the Indian National Congress and its prime ministerial candidate is Dr Manmohan Singh," Senior Congress leader and Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said.
"There is no scope of negotiation and no compromise on that. We are clear in our mind," he told a press conference.
His comment came a day after NCP chief Sharad Pawar sought to keep the door open for Left parties in a post-poll scenario and said that UPA would decide its prime minister after the election.
RJD supremo Lalu Prasad had also said on April 21 that Singh as the PM cannot be taken for granted.
Asked to comment on Lalu Prasad's statement that though he was in the UPA, he was open to the Third Front, Sharma said, "Where is the Third Front? It is an election balloon which has been released by various parties. It has been released by Deve Gowda in Karnataka, Mayawati in UP and Prakash Karat."