Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel today said that Rahul Gandhi is the party’s prime ministerial candidate for the next national election.
Asked as to how he saw the Congress chief’s comment yesterday that he was ready to occupy the prime ministerial post if the Congress emerges as the single largest party in the Lok Sabha polls, Patel said, “The Congress president has already said something. It all depends on who will get how many seats. Our candidate will be Rahul Gandhi,”
“But ultimately it will all depend on the (Lok Sabha poll) results,” Patel told reporters here, maintaining that Gandhi’s claim did not make him “arrogant.”
“After all he (Gandhi) is the president of the Congress party…If we don’t get majority, others (alliance parties) will definitely be consulted. This is not arrogance. If he says he cannot become the prime minister, it will demoralise the party,” Patel added.
In reply to a question, Patel alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had “learnt from China” how to showcase a few big projects to create the impression that there is a lot of development.
“He has learnt it from China how to build big projects and showcase them as development. But if you go a bit deeper, there is no development. The Sabarmati river front, the bullet train, the Metro trains are sold as development. But if you go to villages, there is no development. Government schools are shutting down,” he alleged.
Patel exuded confidence that the Congress will be getting majority in the Karnataka Assembly elections by crossing the magic figure of 112.
He also said his party will continue to press the demand of use of ballot paper in the general elections.
Patel led a delegation of Congress MLAs today who made a representation to governor O P Kohli “against the Gujarat government’s anti-farmer policies and attempts to subvert the Panchayati Raj Act”.
Patel said the representation was against the BJP government’s methods of land acquisition for the bullet train and Dholera SIR projects which went “against the spirit” of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013.
The party also protested the government’s move “to usurp constitutional and statutory powers vested in local bodies”, he said.
If no action was taken, the party will launch an agitation, he said.