The two main political alliances - UPA led by Congress and NDA led by BJP - have announced their Prime Ministerial candidates. NDA has declared L K Advani as it’s prime ministerial candidate, while Sonia Gandhi has hinted that Manmohan Singh would continue as the PM should the UPA win the coming Lok Sabha elections.
However, noises have started coming from both Congress and BJP on the possibility of different PM candidates. Leaders in Congress, like Pranab Mukherjee, have been touting Sonia Gandhi’s son, Rahul Gandhi, as the next PM .
* Minister hints Rahul Gandhi could be India’s next PM, Reuters India, Jan 9, 2009 * Rahul Gandhi’s birthright, Express Buzz, Jan 10, 2009 * Rahul is perfectly suited for PM’s job: Cong, Press Trust of India, Jan 10, 2009 * Rahul can wait, Sonia backs Manmohan, Times of India, Jan 9, 2009
Former Vice-President and BJP leader Bhairon Singh Shekhawat on the other hand has insisted on contesting the Lok Sabha elections and even questioned the candidacy of L K Advani for the PM post. He has got the backing of NCP, led by Sharad Pawar, for this.
* Shekhawat unrelenting; says will contest Lok Sabha election, Press Trust of India, Jan 10, 2009 * NCP open to Shekhawat as PM, Economic Times, Jan 12, 2009 * I am seniormost in the party, says Shekhawat, The Statesman, Jan 8, 2009 * Shekhawat raises doubts about Advani’s leadership, NDTV.com, Jan 8, 2009
For now, the question has been answered by spokesmen of both parties that there is no change in their PM candidates. However, as we get closer to the elections one can expect more such noises from within both the parties.