"How can he (Rahul Gandhi) become prime minister in 2019. There is no vacancy. The NDA will return to power with a majority, and Narendra Modi will have his second term as prime minister," he said.
The Lok Janshakti Party or LJP chief was reacting to Mr Gandhi's statement, made at an interaction with the media during the recent campaign for the Karnataka Assembly polls, which has drawn snide remarks from those in the NDA, including PM Modi himself.
"I am sure that in the next general elections, the people of the country will hold the view that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been performing well and the country has gained respect globally under his leadership, and therefore, the NDA will be given another chance," Mr Paswan, the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, asserted.
"Speaking of the opposition, there seem to be so many aspirants for the PM's post. There is TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu and Chandrashekhar Rao, who heads the TRS. It has also been heard that lobbying is secretly on for Sharad Pawar (NCP founder) as well," he said.
Mr Paswan welcomed the recent move of the Nitish Kumar government to provide financial aid to civil service aspirants belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
He, however, dismissed the opposition's charge that the scheme had been floated with an eye on Dalit votes in the next assembly polls in the state.
Get the latest election news, live updates and election schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on ndtv.com/elections. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates from each of the 543 parliamentary seats for the 2019 Indian general elections.