"I have been consistently saying that in a parliamentary democracy, the prime ministerial candidate is not declared in advance. That takes away from the rights of elected Members of Parliament and MLAs to choose the leader,” he said.

"But because of the discussion in the national media and at the national level, I think that Congress president (Sonia Gandhi) had hinted... that we will consider. So, let the party decide and the Congress president decide," Singh said.

The comments assume significance in the light of growing demands within the party that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi be named its prime ministerial candidate at the AICC session.

Addressing the media last December at the AICC headquarters here, Sonia had responded to a query on the party's prime ministerial candidate by saying that a decision would be taken on the matter at an "opportune moment".

(Agencies)

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