Oppposition PM candidate could be discussed after 2019 polls: Mamata Banerjee

New Delhi: Rejecting DMK leader Stalin’s backing of Congress president Rahul Gandhi as the Oppposition’s prime minister candidate, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said the issue could be discussed after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

MK Stalin had showered Rahul Gandhi with praises at a function to unveil a statue of his father and DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, describing the Congress president as one leader who has the “ability to defeat the fascist BJP”.

“It could be discussed only after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, once the opposition alliance emerged winners. All (opposition) parties will meet and decide on the issue. We will accept that,” Banerjee said, reports PTI

When asked whether she was one of the contenders for the job, the Trinamool Congress chief said, “This is not the time to discuss this issue. And I am not alone. We are working together. We are solidly together,” she said.

The TMC earlier said announcing prime ministerial candidate now would be premature, as it would divide the Opposition camp.

On reports of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) coming together for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls without the Congress, Banerjee said, “This is very good. It is local compulsion. We appreciate that.” The Congress could also be fighting alone in places due to similar compulsions, she said.