New Delhi: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief MK Stalin stood by his remarks about projecting Congress president Rahul Gandhi the Opposition’s prime ministerial candidate for forthcoming Lok Sabha elections 2019. Dismissing the cold response by state leaders, Stalin asserted that they (state leaders) would take a call on the recommendation at a later date.

“Some people questioned whether I can propose Rahul Gandhi’s name as the prime ministerial candidate. What is wrong in that?” the DMK chief said at an event in Villupuram.

Furthermore he added,”If we do not propose (Rahul Gandhi’s name), then who will? Did anyone deny it? Some state leaders are planning to decide on it after sorting out differences in their respective states.”

On the other hand, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party N Chandrababu Naidu, who has made efforts to bring opposition parties together against the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls differed with Stalin’s stand and said that candidate name should be decided after the polls.

“My stand is…post-election we’ll decide. I made it very clear, we should not announce a candidate today,” Naidu said at a media event in national capital.

Earlier,  Samajwadi Party chief and former Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav, while reacting to Stalin’s proposal had said,”West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, NCP leader Sharad Pawar and others had tried to bring all the leaders together to form an alliance ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. If someone (Stalin) is giving his opinion on the PM candidate, it is not necessary that all alliance partners have the same opinion.”

On December 16, while taking to reporters after unveiling a statue of his father and legendary Tamil leader M Karunanidhi in Chennai, Stalin had ‘proposed’ Gandhi’s name for the opposition’s prime ministerial candidate.

“The people of the country are unhappy with the BJP and that it why the Congress got success in three states.  Rahul has got the ability to defeat fascist Modi government. Let’s strengthen Rahul Gandhi’s hands, let’s save the country,” Stalin had said.