Clamour for Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi to lead the party in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections grew louder on Saturday though the ruling political outfit did not name him as its Prime Ministerial candidate.
Several top political leaders, who are attending the party´s ongoing ´Chintan Shivir´ in Jaipur, urged to name Gandhi as the party´s Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections.
Speaking to reporters, Union Information & Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said: "We hope that Rahul Gandhi plays a bigger role in and before the 2014 elections."
Union petroleum and natural gas minister M Veerappa Moily told media: "Rahul is already a leader.We have stable leaders and we are proud of them. Congress has always enjoyed great leadership. If there is any disconnect we are discussing these concerns and will ensure that there is proper connect."
Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor has also backed Gandhi´s candidature as the next Prime Minister.
Speaking to CNN IBN on Saturday, Tharoor said: "We will be in very capable hands if Rahul Gandhi takes over."
Speaking to media, Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam said: "It has been nearly announced that we are going to contest the 2014 general elections under Rahul Gandhi´s leadership. There is no doubt in it. He is definitely our candidate for the post of prime minister after the 2014 elections."
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi told media: "There is huge amount of feeling at the ground level that he (Rahul Gandhi) should take over. However, the ultimate decision must be his....Irrespective of formal name or position, he is our leader. And I have no doubt that not only in 2014, but in every which way, he is going to show us the path."
Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh, however, said the Congress never announces the name of its PM candidate in advance and Rahul Gandhi should not be ´pressurised´.
"The Congress never announces its PM candidate in advance. So let´s not get into this. Let Rahul chalk his own course. Don´t pressurise him," he said.
"We will speak of Rahul Gandhi´s role when we´re ready. When party and Rahul are ready, we will let you know," said Union communications and information technology minister Kapil Sibal.
It has been speculated by many that the 2014 Lok Sabha elections might witness a clash between Gandhi and Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP leader Narenra Modi for the Prime Ministerial post.