This Article is From Jan 22, 2014

Congress will be an underdog in the polls: Chidambaram

Davos: Finance Minister P Chidambaram admitted today that his party, the ruling Congress, is the underdog heading into the general elections due by May. He also admitted that the Congress-led UPA government has displayed "a certain lack of decisiveness."

"Yes, there has been a certain lack of decisiveness but that doesn't mean there has been a vacuum of leadership,' Mr Chidambaram said during an NDTV discussion on the India Outlook at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

He reiterated that there was a need for new leadership. "I advocate that the next election should throw up a new generation of leaders... I think the time has come to hand over the leadership in government to a younger generation," he said, without naming Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. (If you can't govern, just quit: Chidambaram's message to Arvind Kejriwal)

Earlier in the day, on the sidelines of the WEF, however, the Finance Minister said unambiguously that if the Congress is called to form the government after the general elections, Rahul Gandhi will be Prime Minister.

"The Congress party has made it clear the Rahul Gandhi will be the PM if called to form government. Whether the Congress is called or not will depend on the election outcome," Mr Chidambaram said.

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The Finance Minister said it too early yet to say how his party would perform, and added, "the Congress party appears to be the
underdog today, but I think it is good to go into an election
as an underdog rather than in a triumphant mood."

Last week, Congress president Sonia Gandhi asserted that her son and deputy Rahul would not be declared the party's candidate for the top job ahead of the national polls, despite much clamour at a mega Congress conclave for such an announcement.