New Delhi : Amid the growing clamour within the party that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi should be named as the party’s prime ministerial candidate for 2014, outspoken party general secretary Digvijaya Singh has expressed a contrary view.
Singh has stressed that the party should not depart from its well-established practice of not naming the prime ministerial candidate ahead of the elections. “I have been consistently saying that we are a parliamentary democracy and here it is not a contest between key personalities. It’s a contest between policies, ideologies and programmes of parties,” Singh told reporters here.
The issue of Rahul Gandhi’s anointment gained currency after Congress president Sonia Gandhi announced that a decision on this issue would be taken at an ‘opportune time.” For most Congressmen, the forthcoming one-day session of the All India Congress Committee on January 17 will be crucial in this respect.
Party spokespersons have also been dropping hints that such a decision could be taken. Speculation also gathered momentum after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced that he is not in the running for a third term, and would prefer to hand over the baton to a new UPA prime minister after the elections.
According to Digvijay Singh, a contest like Rahul versus Modi or Modi versus Kejriwal is something that is suited for television debates and does not reflect the reality of parliamentary politics.
Commenting on the former IPS officer Kiran Bedi’s endorsement of the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Singh said that it is good for her, and she should join the BJP as the next logical step. ” But she is not right when she says that she backs Modi for inclusive growth. Everyone knows that Modi is a follower of Guru Golwalkar, and their politics is divisive to the core,”he added.