New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today wished Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on his birthday. “Birthday greetings to Congress President Shri Rahul Gandhi,” PM Modi said in a tweet. “I pray for his long and healthy life.” Gandhi turns 48 years old today and this is his first birthday since he took charge of the Congress party. Gandhi became the Congress president in December last year, replacing his mother Sonia who had served as the party’s boss for a long 19 years.
PM Modi and Gandhi have had an acrimonious relationship of sorts, especially over the past months as the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party went head-to-head in several state elections. The two have directly attacked each other’s politics on several occasions as they prepare for the biggest electoral battle — next year’s Lok Sabha election.
Rahul Gandhi is being projected — in some quarters — as the Congress’s prime ministerial candidate for that election. Gandhi himself has said that if the Congress emerges as the single-largest party in the 2019 election, he would be willing to become prime minister. A recent survey carried out by CSDS-Lokniti for India Today TV had found that Gandhi’s popularity as a possible prime minister has been on the rise in the country. Gandhi was the most preferred choice as prime minister for 24 per cent of those polled while PM Modi was ahead at 34 per cent.