West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said the Opposition’s prime ministerial candidate can be discussed only after next year’s Lok Sabha elections, PTI reported. Her remarks came in the backdrop of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam President MK Stalin’s endorsement of Congress President Rahul Gandhi for the post.

“It [the candidate for the prime minister’s post] can be discussed only after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, once the Opposition alliance emerges winners,” Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat in Kolkata. “All parties will meet and decide on the issue. We will accept that.”

Banerjee refused to comment when asked if she was one of the contenders for the post. “I am not alone [in the proposed coalition],” NDTV quoted her as saying. “We are working together. Let us hope for the day when there will be a good change.”

Stalin had come under fire from other Opposition leaders for projecting Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate. He made the announcement at a public meeting on Sunday after unveiling a statue of his father M Karunanidhi in Chennai.

A day later, Opposition leaders had said a decision on the prime ministerial candidate can be taken only after the elections. A Telugu Desam Party official had said party chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu was “taken aback” by Stalin’s declaration. A Trinamool Congress leader had also said any announcement on the prime ministerial nominee at this time would be “premature”.

However, Stalin defended his stance, claiming that projecting Gandhi “is the right thing to unite secular forces”.