Almost two years ahead of the next Lok Sabha elections,the Congress has started seeking public opinion on who should be the next prime minister. In a survey commissioned by the party in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh both BJP-ruled states the first question in the two-page questionnaire is: Who do you think should be the next Prime Minister of India?
This is the first time that the party has sought public opinion on the issue,even as it has already declared that PM Manmohan Singh will complete his full tenure. Just last week,Rahul Gandhi had claimed that while many leaders in India are obsessed with the prime ministership,this was not his obsession.
Interestingly,the survey has not listed any options as prime ministerial candidates. So the results could give the party an idea about the popularity of prospective prime ministerial candidates from other parties as well.
In the Congress,there is no ambiguity about its prime ministerial candidate. If Rahulji wants to become PM today,nobody can stop him. If he is not accepting the post of the PM,how can he accept the post of chief minister? union minister Shriprakash Jaiswal said today. He added that whoever becomes the UP CM,Rahul could remote control.
Seeking to play down the significance of the survey,Congress sources said it was meant to assess peoples opinion about the BJP governments in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The questionnaire asks people to rate their performance on a scale of 0 to 10 in terms of corruption,development works,etc.
The survey also lists the flagship programmes of the UPA government and asks people to rate their impact they have been asked to state whether the credit for the programmes goes to the state government or the central government. This comes in the wake of the partys assessment that the UPA government is not getting due credit as opposition-ruled states showcase the schemes as theirs.
Sources said that based on the results,the party would formulate its strategy for the 2013 assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.