Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday said that he would back party leader Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate of the Opposition INDIA bloc if it wins the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, NDTV reported.

In an interview with the news channel, Kharge said: “Rahul Gandhi is my choice to be prime minister. He represents the youth, and length and breadth of the country.”

Kharge said that Gandhi is the “face that is known to the country”.

The Congress chief also said that he had pushed for Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s electoral debut in the general elections.

There had been speculations of her contesting from Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli or Amethi constituencies. The two seats are considered strongholds of the Gandhi family.

However, the Congress fielded Rahul Gandhi from Rae Bareli while party leader Kishori Lal Sharma is contesting from Amethi.

“I wanted Priyanka to contest, but Rahul needed someone to be his campaign manager, since he was also campaigning across the country,” Kharge said on Friday.

Kharge also remarked that the Congress would win 128 seats in the elections. “From the reports that we have received, we are sure that we will stop the BJP from returning to power,” he told NDTV. “We believe that the Congress has already crossed the 100-seat mark and are hoping to win 128 seats.”

The Congress president added the INDIA bloc had performed well. “We also tried to help each other during the polls, which resulted in our votes getting transferred to each other,” he said.

On April 17, Kharge said a decision on the INDIA bloc’s prime ministerial candidate will be taken only after the results of the Lok Sabha elections are declared.