Updated: December 17, 2018 12:19:37 am
DMK president MK Stalin Sunday made a strong pitch for Rahul Gandhi as the Opposition’s prime ministerial candidate for 2019, saying the Congress chief had the ability to oust the “fascist” Narendra Modi government.
“I propose Rahul Gandhi as PM. I urge other leaders present here to stand with me on this. We should support Rahul,” he said. Taking a dig at the PM, Stalin said under the leadership of Modi, the country had gone back 15 years.
“Under Modi’s leadership, the country has gone 15 years back. If we give him another chance, the country will surely go back to what it was 50 years ago,” the DMK chief said at an event to inaugurate a statue of the party’s late patriarch and ex-chief minister M Karunanidhi at Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s (DMK) headquarters in Chennai.
He also asked other leaders present at the event to support Gandhi as the Opposition PM candidate to “save the nation”. “Rahul has got the ability to defeat the ‘Fascist Nazist’ Modi government. I appeal to all my respected party leaders on the dais. We will strengthen the hands of Rahul Gandhi. We will save this nation,” Stalin said.
The DMK leader said the PM was quick on tweeting if something happened abroad, but didn’t bother to visit delta districts affected by Cyclone Gaja, which struck Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in November. “Centre is bringing in amendments that TN opposed. Modi is acting like a sadist. We need Rahul to make this country better,” he said.
Reacting to Stalin’s proposal, CPI leader D Raja said all other parties, particularly secular democratic parties and left parties would now have to consider the issue and deliberate upon it, reported ANI.
D Raja, CPI: DMK President has proposed Rahul Gandhi should become the Prime Minister.All the other parties, particularly secular democratic parties, left parties will have to give consideration & deliberate on this issue. Let us see in the coming days how things are going to end pic.twitter.com/hVLOxEBoCP
— ANI (@ANI) December 16, 2018
However, earlier in October, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram had denied reports of Rahul Gandhi being chosen as the prime ministerial face of the party for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The former finance minister had said the Congress would declare their prime ministerial candidate only after an alliance was formed to defeat the BJP.
In August, NCP chief Sharad Pawar too gave a similar statement when asked about the expected prime ministerial candidate of the proposed Grand Alliance. He had said the party that wins the maximum number of seats to the Lok Sabha will decide the PM face.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav in July had also dodged a direct reply to the question on the probable PM candidate, stating that the country would have a new PM in 2019.
In a massive show of Opposition unity ahead of the Lok Sabha elections next year, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi unveiled the statue of M Karunanidhi in presence of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Kerala Chief Minister Pinnarayi Vijayan and several other political bigwigs at the DMK headquarters.
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