A Dalit will be nominated as Prime Minister by the Congress in the near future, a senior party leader said on Sunday.

“The day is not far when it will give a Dalit PM, not for votes but for Dalit empowerment,” party leader Anil Shastri posted in Twitter.

The statement comes in the wake of the claim of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati that the Congress could appoint Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar or Union Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde as Prime Minister ahead of the U.P. Assembly elections.

Earlier, AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh, who is in charge of party affairs in Uttar Pradesh, dismissed Ms. Mayawati's claim saying that Manmohan Singh would remain the Prime Minister.

Mr. Shastri, in another tweet, said: “Mayawati can't be the only Dalit aspiring to be PM. There are many more qualified and capable leaders in the Congress.”

On the debate over the RTI, the Congress leader said: “There seems to be a concerted effort by people in government to dilute and weaken the RTI, which should be resisted by all right thinking people.”

Mr. Shastri has expressed his views in the backdrop of Dr. Singh's statement that a “critical look” must be taken at the RTI Act. — PTI