Rahul Gandhi Prime Ministerial Candidate For 2019 General Elections: Congress Working Committee

| July 23 , 2018 , 08:20 IST

The first Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting chaired by Congress President Rahul Gandhi since he became president 8 months ago marked the sounding of the bugle for the Grand Old Party for the 2019 General Elections, with Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate.

The meeting of the extended CWC on Sunday was attended by 239 party leaders to brainstorm, discuss and bring clarity for the “mission 2019” strategy and the political situation. At the meeting, the CWC authorised president Rahul Gandhi to take decisions on pre-poll or post-poll alliances. The party also emphasised the importance of tying up with regional partners in the respective states to take on the BJP.

Addressing the media after the CWC meeting, Congress media in charge Randeep Surjewala recounted the statements made by former union minister P Chidambaram during the high level Congress meeting.

“Chidambaram pointed out that the Congress is facing a serious challenge in the 80 seats of Uttar Pradesh, 42 seats of West Bengal, 40 seats of Bihar, 39 seats of Tamil Nadu…this itself adds up to around 200 seats. He said that in states where the Congress is weak currently, we must sew up regional alliances to take on the BJP,” Surjewala said.

Surjewala added that Chidambaram said “in multiple states, there are a dozen and-a-half where the Congress is the leading party…and in those states, the Congress should lead”.

Surjewala said that “Congress is the only party in India which has a unit from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Porbandar to Tripura”.

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“We may have won less number of seats in 2014 but that does not mean that our presence is not much larger than any other party in the country. The Congress fights, since Independence, the largest number of Parliamentary seats," said Surjewala.

"Once the Congress becomes the single largest party, touching the magic figure of 200 or more, naturally, then Congress will be leading whoever else wants to come in and walk hand in hand. And naturally, then the Congress president would be the only face to be projected,” he said.

AICC general secretary Ambika Soni seconded Surjewala's statements regarding Rahul Gandhi and said, “Naturally, he is the leader of the main national (Opposition) party and we would want our leader to be the face of the Opposition alliance.”