New Delhi: After Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief MK Stalin proposed Congress President Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate for the Lok Sabha 2019 polls, CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury, and several other opposition parties have taken a step back stating the former’s statement as a ‘premature declaration’. Also Read - Vaccination Against COVID-19 Begins in India, Bailey Bridge on Jammu-Srinagar Highway Opens After 1 Week: Top Headlines at This Hour

Trinamool Congress (TMC), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Communist Party of India-Marxist CPI(M) in a unison said the decision on Opposition’s prime ministerial candidate should be taken only after the 2019 Lok Sabha Election results. Also Read - New Vistadome Jan Shatabdi Express For Ahmedabad to Kevadia From Today | In Pictures

CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said, “Everyone is entitled to their opinion, we learn from our country’s history. A formation that forms an alternative government at the center comes into existence only post-election.” Also Read - PM Modi Launches India's Vaccination Drive, Gets Emotional as he Thanks Frontline Workers | Top Quotes From His Address to Nation

“Not only TMC but other Opposition parties, too, are of the opinion that any decision on the PM candidate should be decided only after the Lok Sabha election results. Any announcement on the PM candidate right now would be premature as it would divide the Opposition camp,” a senior TMC leader.

NCP national spokesperson Nawab Malik said, “The Congress itself has declared it (the prime minister) will be decided after the (Lok Sabha poll) results. When Congress and other like-minded parties themselves have talked about it, there is no point in debating the issue now. All parties will take the decision after polls.”

Even CPI leader D Raja said the issue required to be debated and there is a need for a consensus among secular democratic parties. “DMK president MK Stalin has proposed Rahul Gandhi should become the prime ministerial candidate in 2019. All other parties, particularly secular democratic parties, left parties will have to give consideration and deliberate on this issue. Let us see in the coming days how things are going to unfold,” Raja told ANI.

Opposition parties argued that Rahul Gandhi may have got a boost after his tri-state win but declaring him the PM candidate could play into the BJP’s hands as the saffron party has already packaged the 2019 contest as a Modi vs Rahul fight.