Arjun Singh, Karunanidhi, NCP bats for Rahul as PM

Congress leader Arjun Singh Monday said there was nothing wrong in projecting Congress MP Rahul Gandhi as the party’s next prime ministerial candidate, another senior party leader Vayalar Ravi seconded the suggestion, saying it was a “good” idea. “He (Rahul) has all the qualities of his father (former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi),” Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Arjun Singh told reporters earlier in the day.

Mr Arjun Singh, when asked in an interview by a news agency whether Congress scion Rahul Gandhi should be projected as the prime ministerial candidate in keeping with the tradition established by his father, Rajiv Gandhi, who took over as India’s youngest PM in 1984, replied: “Why not…He (Rahul) has all the qualities of his father. He is making sincere efforts in acquiring information and knowledge that is required.” By Monday evening, Mr Singh’s statement was welcomed by DMK chief M Karunanidhi.
Rahul Gandhi has lately reinforced his standing as a Congress leader through his countrywide campaigns. He has shown concern for the rights of Dalits and has intervened in the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), the UPA government’s flagship programme.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Praful Patel in an interview to a TV channel Sunday backed both Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi’s candidature.

Earlier, NCP leader and union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had backed Manmohan Singh for a second-term as prime minister after the 2009 general elections.

Arjun Singh avoided to comment on Pawar’s views.

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