Congress has begun its outreach to opposition parties, indicating that the Prime Minister’s post will not be a sticking point even as Sonia Gandhi is seen to have launched an outreach with non-NDA leaders suggesting there should be detailed discussions ahead of the May 23 results.
Signs of an accommodative approach towards regional parties emerged on Thursday when senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad issued a public message that “Congress has no issues if it does not get the PM post”, a climbdown in the context of partners DMK and RJD emphasising Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s candidature and his centrality to any postpoll alliance.
“We have made our position clear. If consensus is on Congress, then it will take the leadership position. But our objective is that an NDA government should be prevented. We don’t want to say ‘if we are not made (PM) no one else will be’. We will go with the unanimous decision (of non-Congress parties),” Azad said. “My party high command has already made it clear that the Congress is not averse to making a Prime Minister from any regional party.”
The statement comes on the heels of meetings, seen to be inconclusive, between Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and DMK chief M K Stalin. With KCR not appearing to have warmed up to joining UPA, BSP chief Mayawati making known her ambitions for the top job, and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee cold to Congress , the preliminary outreach is seen as an attempt to soften future allies and to set the stage for consultations, reported TNN.