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Rahul-for-PM call in Patna

Congress's Bihar allies back Rahul Gandhi as PM but also hint that they want seat-sharing flexibility

By Dev Raj in Patna
  • Published 4.02.19, 2:50 AM
  • Updated 4.02.19, 12:06 PM
  • a min read
Rahul Gandhi at the rally in Patna. PTI

The RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav and other Bihar allies of the Congress on Sunday backed Rahul Gandhi for Prime Minister.

“Rahul Gandhi has all the qualities to become Prime Minister,” Tejashwi, the face of the RJD following the imprisonment and indisposition of his father Lalu Prasad, said at a “jan akanksha (people’s aspiration)” rally in Patna.

Tejashwi, however, added that the Congress, being a large party, had the responsibility of taking along all the alliance partners, hinting that it should be more accommodative in seat-sharing.

Earlier at the rally, organised by the Congress and attended by all its major alliance partners in Bihar, former chief minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha Secular president Jitan Ram Manjhi had pitched for Rahul as Prime Minister.

“I appeal to the people to ensure the victory of the grand alliance in the coming (Lok Sabha) elections and make Rahul Gandhi the Prime Minister,” Manjhi told the gathering at Gandhi Maidan.

Loktantrik Janata Dal president and socialist leader Sharad Yadav indirectly backed Rahul’s possible candidature, saying: “The biggest responsibility of uniting all the Opposition parties is on the shoulders of Rahul Gandhi.”

Rashtriya Lok Samta Party president and former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha, who couldn’t attend the rally as doctors had advised him rest after he suffered injuries in a police lathi-charge in Patna, has already backed Rahul for the top post.

Rahul told the gathering the Congress would contest the Lok Sabha elections as part of a “grand alliance” to form the government at the Centre and would repeat it later in Bihar.

“The Congress will now play on the front foot instead of the back foot. We will do this together with Rashtriya Janata Dal leaders Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and Lalu Prasad and hit a six. The parties of the alliance will together win the Lok Sabha elections and then go on to win the Bihar Assembly polls,” Rahul said. 

Leader after leader at the rally accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “cheating” the people.

“Narendra Modi is a factory of lies. He is a wholesaler of lies. The RSS is the retailer of these lies,” Tejashwi said.

“Did good days come? Did Rs 15 lakh come into your accounts? Did 2 crore youths get jobs?” Tejashwi asked, referring to Modi’s pre-poll promises and eliciting cheers.

The BJP later accused Rahul and Tejashwi of uttering “lies” in their speeches.

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