Arjun’s statement on Rahul Gandhi his own opinion: Pranab

April 15th, 2008 - 8:22 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee Tuesday described his cabinet colleague Arjun Singh’s statement that Rahul Gandhi could be made the next prime ministerial candidate as his “individual opinion”. Mukherjee said there was no controversy on the issue of the young Amethi MP’s candidature as prime minister, but added that the forum and the time for bringing up the issue could be decided at an appropriate juncture.

“There is no question of my approval as there is no controversy (on the issue). What Arjun Singh said is his individual opinion,” Mukherjee told reporters.

He was reacting to the human resource development minister’s statement on Monday where he said: “There is nothing wrong in projecting Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate as he has all the qualities”.

Along the same lines Mukherjee said: “People always go for young leaders. That is the universal truth.”

“We will decide at what point of time and in which forum this issue (of prime ministership) should be discussed.”

When asked whether the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) partners had ever discussed the issue in the recent past, Mukherjee said: “There was no occasion to discuss the issue”.

As for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s opinion on the subject, Mukherjee said, “He has already explained his position”.

He however did not dwell on the prime minister’s position on Rahul Gandhi’s candidature.

Mukherjee was one of the front-runners for the post of prime minister when the UPA government was being formed in 2004.

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