Rahul Gandhi has bigger responsibility now, should talk to all parties before 2019 Lok Sabha polls, says Lalu Prasad

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Saturday congratulated the newly elected Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday after the latter formally took over the mantle of country's oldest political party from his mother Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi.

Expressing support for Rahul's elevation from party vice-president, Yadav told CNN-News18, "I welcome Rahul for taking over. Rahul has a bigger responsibility now, he will have to live up to that.”

However, even as he expressed his support for the major generational shift in the Congress, the RJD chief clarified that the decision to form an alliance under Rahul's leadership is yet to be taken and he should talk to all the parties before forming any alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

File image of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav. PTI

File image of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav. PTI

"We have not yet decided whether next Lok Sabha elections (in 2019) will be fought under Rahul Gandhi's leadership. We will decide when the time comes. Rahul should talk to all parties first before any alliance," the RJD chief said.

When asked about his views on the results of the Gujarat elections, Yadav said that Congress will win the election. He added that exit polls can go wrong, hence the Congress has a fair chance to win the polls.

This is not the first the RJD supremo has dropped hints about forming an alliance with the Congress. Earlier, too, Yadav had expressed his support to the Congress several times, especially after his party suffered a jolt with Nitish Kumar's JDU breaking away from the grand alliance.

In an interview with India Today earlier, Yadav had said that Rahul is capable of being a prime ministerial candidate for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and his party will extend full support to him. He was quoted as saying, "I extend full support to Rahul Gandhi as he is set to become Congress president. The country will be benefited after he becomes the party president. Why can't he be the PM (prime ministerial) candidate of the anti-BJP forces in 2019? RJD will fully support him."

Earlier, in October on the occasion of the 130th birth anniversary of Bihar's first chief minister and freedom fighter Sri Krishna Singh, as both the parties came together, Yadav was quoted as saying by PTI, "The Congress is an all-India party and we (RJD) are solidly together with each other."

Meanwhile, soon after taking up the Congress baton, Rahul hit out at the BJP, accusing it of spreading hatred and violence in the country. He accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of taking India back to the medieval times.

In his first speech to his party workers after formally assuming charge as the Congress president, he set the tone for the future course and how the party would take on its arch-rival BJP. He was quoted by PTI as saying, "The Congress' respect for all Indians extends to even the BJP. We do not fight hate with hate. They crush voice, we allow the most vulnerable to sing. They defame, we respect and defend."

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Updated Date: Dec 16, 2017 20:22 PM

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