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Sonia rules out possibility of becoming PM

March 24, 2009 15:15 IST

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday ruled out the possibility of her becoming the party's prime ministerial candidate and said that there has been no change in her position since 2004 when she refused the top job.

"I had made my position (on the issue of PM's post) very clear in 2004 and there is no change in that position even now," Gandhi said when asked whether she will consider herself a candidate for the PM's post after the Lok Sabha polls.

Despite being elected as the Leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party after the 2004 elections, Gandhi had refused to take over the top job and instead given the mantle to Manmohan Singh.

To questions on the issue of the Congress' prime ministerial candidate, Gandhi flashed the party's manifesto and pointed to Manmohan Singh's picture on its cover.

On the fate of the United Progressive Alliance in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh where the Congress has failed to stitch up alliances, Gandhi said, "This is certainly not the end of the UPA."

Asked if the Congress would take the support of the Left parties after the elections, Gandhi said it was not possible for her to comment at this juncture and that the issue would be decided after the poll outcome.

To a query if the UPA was now in disarray in the Hindi belt, she said her party has decided to fight the coming Lok Sabha elections alone in some states and with regional parties in other states.

On UPA partners making adverse remarks against her party colleagues, but refraining from pointing a finger at her, Gandhi said, "I have not heard any comment about me and my party. You have to enlighten me."

To a query on reports of the Pattali Makkal Katchi breaking away from the alliance in Tamil Nadu, the UPA chairperson said that there was no change in the state alliance, as of now.

On the Bharatiya Janata Party's accusations that Varun Gandhi's 'communal' outbursts at a rally in Pilibhit was a result of the Congress' mindset, Gandhi said that any sane person would know too well that the BJP's statement was 'untrue'.

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