Amid demands for the projection of Rahul Gandhi as a Prime Ministerial candidate after his elevation as party Vice President, Congress today said it was not the party's culture to usurp the right of party MPs to elect their leader.
"It is not the culture of Congress party to announce a PM candidate before the elections. We do not believe in taking away the right of elected representatives. Congress believe in parliamentary democracy. Congress never declares its PM candidate before election," Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said here.
The party General Secretary, who has worked closely with Rahul Gandhi as AICC In charge of Uttar Pradesh, also dismissed a suggestion that Rahul Gandhi s elevation has in any way diminished the role of Congress President Sonia Gandhi in party affairs.
"This will have impact on Congress President's role that now she will have somebody to share her responsibilities," Singh said here.
The AICC leader also expressed confidence that Rahul elevation could set in motion "revolutionary changes" in the functioning of the party and "instill a greater sense of responsibility and accountability" among the senior leadership of the party.
Asked what does Rahul Gandhi's elevation mean for senior party leaders, he said it means more responsibilities, more active involvement, it means greater responsibility and accountability to the leadership "We all welcome this step which was long overdue as far as we are concerned. We would be working with more responsibility and accountability than we were doing earlier," Digvijay said.
He also dismissed any suggestion of the next Lok Sabha elections being a Rahul Gandhi versus Narendra Modi tussle saying the BJP leader's appeal is limited to Gujarat.
"There is no comparison between Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi. Modi does not exert influence outside Gujarat whereas Rahul Gandhi is a national leader," he said.
To a question on whether some far-reaching changes can be expected in Congress with Rahul becoming Vice President on the lines of what had been witnessed by Youth Congress and NSUI, Singh said, I think so. Let us see. Indian Youth Congress chief Rajiv Satav hailed the elevation of Rahul as beginning of a Youth Era.