New Delhi: With growing speculations over Congress’ chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh, the party has ruled out vice president Rahul Gandhi's name for the post, saying he is a national leader.
Newly-appointed party general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the party would strengthen itself in Uttar Pradesh before declaring a chief ministerial candidate in the key assembly polls early next year.
"Uttar Pradesh chief minister will be announced at the appropriate time. Rahul Gandhi is our national leader and there is no question of him being made a chief minister," said Azad.
"We will project a Congress face before the polls, but only after getting the party strengthened in the state," he said when asked about whether Priyanka Gandhi would be leading the charge.
The leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, who has been made in-charge of the Uttar Pradesh affairs, said his party will work to alert people about the forces which divide them in the name of religion.
"In the last one year, we have seen the way Muzaffarnagar incident happened and Mathura and Kairana incidents took place. the kind of statements Uttar Pradesh's BJP leaders are making, it stirs controversies, so these are just an attempt to 'build-up' an atmosphere in Uttar Pradesh to divide people on the basis of religion," Azad added.
He further accused the Centre of failing to check those people who are dividing society in the name of religion.
"On the other side, they (Centre) is providing them assistance. The Centre is itself involved in a conspiracy of dividing people in the name of religion for the vote bank politics," he added.
He further said several parties are involved in polarisation for the sake of votes.
"It would be better if they fight elections on their policies and achievements," he added....