Senior Congress leader Ratanjit Pratap Narain Singh today said Rahul Gandhi will soon take up the role of party president and that 2019 Lok Sabha polls will be fought under his leadership.

“A lot of revamping is going on and further changes are expected in the AICC. All this is being done to strengthen the organization and make it ready for the 2019 polls,” Singh told reporters here.

“Rahul ji is the party vice president now and he will soon assume the role of party president. Congress will go to the 2019 (general) elections under his leadership,” he said.

The former union minister was in the city to take part in a protest organized by the Maharashtra unit of Congress against the “failures” of the BJP-led government.

Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Singh said the unemployment level has remained the same, farmers are in distress and internal security is in shambles.

“They are playing with the future of the country. And, if a word is spoken against them, they are termed as anti-nationals,” he said.

Singh added that while the Congress took concrete steps towards getting fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim back, BJP ministers and legislators were busy attending marriage ceremonies of his relatives.

The Congress leader was referring to a controversy in which Maharashtra BJP minister Girish Mahajan allegedly attended a function of Dawood’s relative in Nashik.

“Is this their definition of nationalism?” he asked.

Singh alleged that the BJP government has looted Rs 4.5 lakh crore through the sale of petroleum products after their market prices went down by around 50 per cent. “This money could have been used to write off the debts of farmers across the nation,” Singh said.

“They tried to assassinate the characters of Rajiv Gandhi and Manmohan Singh. But the impeccable credentials of these leaders was proven. Did they ever call MP Chief Minister (Shivraj Singh Chouhan) to give his statement on the Vyapam scam? Chhatisgarh CM’s son also has serious charges against him. Nobody was called for questioning,” he alleged.

While replying to a query, Singh said that Congress never said that EVMs were tampered with. “The party had only asked the Election Commission to check the functioning of some select ATMs, which were claimed to have been rigged,” he said.

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