Congress president Rahul Gandhi is still hopeful that BJP will tie up with his party for the 2019 polls, though it opted out of an alliance for the upcoming assemlby polls. Delivering keynoteaddress on the opening day of the 16th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, he tried to convince that alliances in states are different from those at the national level. Particularly, he said he is hopeful that Congress and BSP are likely to come together.
He expressed confidence that Congress will win in all the assembly polls to be held later this year in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisghar and Telangana and form its governments. With regard to seat adjustments with other parties, Rahul asserted that his party is pretty flexible and accommodate. “It was they decided to go their own way”, said referring to Mayawathi’s decision to go on her own way in these states.
Rahul Gandhi said discussions with alliance partners is a two-stage process when asked if he stood by his statement during the Karnataka elections that he was willing to be the prime ministerial candidate if his party and the allies want that. “Stage one is to get together to defeat the BJP and stage two is once the elections are over, we will decide what happens. But we really do not know now what will happen then,” he said.
With regard to 2019 polls, Rahul said that issue of prime ministerial candidate will not create any problem for opposition unity. “Opposition parties have decided to first defeat the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and then later decide on who will be Prime Minister”, he said. But if the allies want him as the prime minister? “If they want me, sure,” said Gandhi.