Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav dropped hints that his party may not be in line to support Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's candidature for the Prime Minister's post before the elections.
Congress national president Rahul Gandhi’s remark on his prime ministerial ambition has triggered a fresh debate whether he will succeed in rejuvenating the grand old party that has tasted only defeats since the 2014 general elections. Today, Rahul’s close friend and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav dropped hints that his party may not be in line to support his candidature for the top job before the elections.
Akhilesh said that though he enjoys good ties with Rahul, the final decision on who becomes the Prime Minister will only be taken after elections. Addressing the media, Akhilesh said that the name of the person to occupy the chair of the Prime Minister, in case the opposition comes to power next year, will be decided only when elections are over. “It will be decided after the elections. However, my terms with the national president of Congress party are very cordial,” he replied to a question.
Akhilesh said that talks at this stage will not yield any result because the number of MPs each opposition party has in the present Lok Sabha will not be the parameter while deciding the next PM. “Till now we were five… now 7. This number will not be taken into account next time. If this count has to be taken into consideration, we are ready today (to decide who will become PM)… it will be decided after the new figures come up (post-election),” Akhilesh added.
The Samajwadi Party had in past voiced its support to the Congress and called for unity among opposition parties to face the BJP in next year’s general election. But Akhilesh’s statement today could also be seen as throwing in his own candidature for the top role. Akhilesh knows that the path to Delhi crosses from the politically sensitive Uttar Pradesh which sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha. The state holds the key to change the political arithmetic at any stage and it was evident during the previous Lok Sabha polls when the BJP had won 72 seats.
Rahul had earlier this week said that he was ready to take up the job of Prime Minister if the Congress party gets a majority in next year’s Lok Sabha polls.