AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi is the natural choice of the Congress for the Prime Minister’s post, Railway Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge has said.

There is no need for the Congress to pitch Mr. Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate against the BJP’s Narendra Modi, he told reporters here on Saturday.

The Congress party and its cadre were behind Mr. Gandhi and want him to be the Prime Minister, he said.

On why the party was hesitant to formally declare Mr. Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate, he said, “We fight elections on principles and based on the achievements of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government....”

Mr. Kharge said the BJP had not projected anybody as its prime ministerial candidate in the past, and for reasons best known to leaders of that party, they had now chosen Mr. Modi.

The Railway Minister, who initially said Mr. Modi’s anointment was an internal matter of the BJP, later opened up and wanted to know what was contribution of the Gujarat Chief Minister for the country’s development.

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He alleged that Mr. Modi’s only achievement was to divide Hindus and Muslims in Gujarat permanently. The recent statement of the suspended IPS officer D.G. Vanzara had proved Mr. Modi’s complicity in fake encounters and influencing communal riots in Gujarat, the Congress leader charged.

Mr. Kharge said Mr. Modi was a creation of a section of the media and social media. As the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Mr. Modi had violated Constitutional provisions and worked against secularism and social justice, he alleged.

He wondered if Mr. Modi had the acceptance of people across the country.

“The Congress was confident of leading back the UPA to power for the third term based on its track record of implementing all the promises made to people and enacting pro-people legislation,” he said.

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