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Issue of prime ministership can be decided later: Basu

Jyoti Basu has negated BJP's campaign that the Cong and other Oppn parties had failed to come up with their prime ministership candidate.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Kolkata
UPDATED ON APR 30, 2004 04:06 PM IST

Veteran CPI-M leader Jyoti Basu has negated BJP's campaign that the Congress and other opposition parties had failed to come up with their Prime Ministerial candidate and said that the issue could be discussed later.

"Earlier also we did not project anyone as the Prime Ministerial candidate. But 12 parties had offered our party to join the government at the Centre with me as Prime Minister although we did not join the government,'' he said.

If Congress became the largest party Sonia is their leader. ''I don't know who they will choose. Maybe some other person can be chosen also,'' Basu said.

To a question whether Sonia Gandhi would be the automatic choice for Prime Minister if Congress emerged as the single largest party, Basu said Sonia herself had said that she was not fighting for prime ministership. ''I am happy that she has said it.''

Gandhi, he said, had also stated that she was fighting to increase the seats of Congress and the issue of prime ministership could be decided after discussion with its allies after the elections.

Basu, however, made it clear that his party had no objection if Sonia Gandhi became the Prime Minister. ''She is an Indian citizen and our Constitution allows her to hold the post.''

To a question that some allies of Congress might object to her becoming the Prime Minister, the veteran leader admitted it and said discussion on this issue was necessary.''

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