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Days after Congress named him PM candidate for 2019, Rahul Gandhi does a flip-flop, says ‘open to options’

A day after the marathon no-confidence motion proceedings in the Lok Sabha, where Rahul Gandhi was hailed by the Congress leaning media for his hug-and-wink drama, Congress had held a Congress Working Committee meeting where it was decided that Rahul Gandhi would be Prime Ministerial candidate for the Congress in upcoming 2019 elections.

But days after announcing him as the prime ministerial candidate Congress President has reportedly said that he is open to backing other leaders from the alliance if they beat the BJP. When asked whether he would back TMC’s Mamata Banerjee, who is not very approving of projecting Rahul Gandhi as the Prime Ministerial candidate, or BSP’s Mayawati, who currently has zero MPs in the Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi reportedly said he would support any candidate who is able to defeat the BJP and the RSS.

As per reports, Congress is also willing to accommodate leader of non-Congress or regional party as prime ministerial nominee if it gets the number next year or if there is a lack of consensus on a Congress nominee. The sole focus of the party is to oust the BJP at the centre, say reports. Some reports suggest that Opposition may project a woman candidate, like Mayawati or Mamata Banerjee as Prime Minister for 2019. Without giving much details, Gandhi said that Congress’ strategy for 2019 would be to seal the seats in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, which form 80 and 40 seats or about 22% of the Lok Sabha.

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