Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday said Rahul Gandhi is the prime ministerial face of the Congress and the only leader in the country who can take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He made the remark shortly after the Supreme Court stayed Gandhi’s conviction in the 2019 defamation case over the Modi surname.
Gehlot, who once emerged as the frontrunner for the Congress president’s post, made it clear again that he would rather remain a part of Rajasthan politics.
“For us, Rahul Gandhi is the PM face. Rest is up to the high command,” the Congress leader told reporters. “We will see what happens further.” Gehlot said this has been the situation since the time when Gandhi was the party president.
The CM was reminded that Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge recently indicated that the party is not interested in the PM’s post, but in opposition unity ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Gehlot said he doesn’t know what was discussed among the opposition leaders and Kharge might be right.
But he added, “People of this country and Congressmen know that if there is someone in competition with Modi, it’s Rahul Gandhi.” Gehlot rejected the possibility that he could himself be the PM candidate in 2024 if the Congress wins Rajasthan Assembly polls this year.
The CM said he has decided to stay with Rajasthan politics. “I have resolved to serve Rajasthan till my last breath. So the question of becoming a candidate in Delhi politics will never arise,” he added.
He said he will fight the Rajasthan polls on the basis of his work.