Congress ready to back regional party leader for PM post: Ghulam Nabi Azad

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Shimla: The Congress is not averse to supporting any regional party leader for the prime minister's post even if it emerges as the single largest party, Congress leader Gulam Nabi Azad said on Thursday.

"My party high command has already made it clear that the Congress is not averse to making a prime minister from any regional party," Azad told reporters here.

He was asked if the Congress will be ready to support any regional party leader for the PM's post even if it emerges as the largest party in a hung Parliament.

Speaking in the same vein in Patna on Wednesday, Azad had said the Congress will not make it an issue if the PM's post is not offered to it.

Azad's remarks assume significance as the Congress has been asserting that it would be the fulcrum of any non-NDA government, which was seen as its claim for the PM's post and had led some major regional parties to maintain a distance from it.

"It will be good if there is a consensus on Congress leader's name for heading the government at the Centre after the Lok Sabha election results are out but we are not going to make it an issue that we (Congress) will not let any other (leader) to become the PM, if it is not offered to us (Congress)," Azad had said in Patna, in an apparent mellowing of Congress' stand.

The Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha had said the sole objective of the Congress is to stop the NDA from forming the government at the Centre and installing a non-NDA government.

Taking a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Azad said here that he should prepare for installing his own statue.

Asked about Modi's assurance of constructing a 'grand statue' of 19th century reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar at the same spot where his bust was vandalised in Kolkata, the Congress leader replied, 'Now he should prepare for installing his own statute.'

However, Azad was quick to add that "some alive persons also erect their statutes as BSP supremo Mayawati had done in UP".

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