India's main opposition Congress party on Sunday named its chief Rahul Gandhi as the grand old outfit's prime ministerial candidate for next year's general elections.
"Naturally, the Congress president would be the only face to be projected. The Congress would fight this election by putting forward our leader," party spokesman R.S. Surjewala told the media in Delhi.
The party's announcement came hours after Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi convened the meeting of the Congress Working Committee, its highest decision making body.In the meeting, the Congress also authorised Rahul Gandhi to take a call on all pre-poll alliances with other opposition parties to contest the 2019 general elections.
On his part, the Congress chief said, "We are setting up a group that is going to do that (pre-poll alliance)."
"The biggest challenge before the party is to expand the voting base, and stressed the need for a strategy to reach out to people to win back their trust," Gandhi said.
The Congress lost 2014 general elections to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party after being plagued by allegations of corruption and its inability to rein in inflation.