Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh expressed confidence that all "like-minded parties" in the Opposition which have the best interest of the nation at heart will support Congress chief Rahul Gandhi as the leader of an united alliance against the BJP-led NDA in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Singh also said the Congress party, under the leadership of Rahul, will return to power in 2019 as the people are "completely disillusioned" with the BJP and want a "positive change".
Singh, who is in Israel on a five-day visit, said India needed a young and dynamic leader to bring it out of the current mess and put it back on the global map.
"Rahul has all the qualities needed to be a great prime minister and he is the perfect man to lead the country, as I have always maintained," Singh told PTI in an interview when asked if he really feels Rahul is the right man for the job of running the country.
Singh is heading a high-level delegation to Israel to strengthen Punjab's cooperation with it in the fields of agriculture, horticulture, dairy farming and waste water management, besides trying to attract investments in the state. Singh said the people are tired of "misgovernance" by the BJP.
"The people are completely disillusioned with the BJP and want a positive change," he said.
"The escalating prices of diesel and petrol, the economic situation faced by the country just see the way the rupee is going viz a viz the dollar, the polarisation triggered by the BJP, the widespread unemployment, the way many of the ministers at the Centre are functioning – the people can see all that, and are sick and tired of it.
"The time is up for the BJP. The Congress, under Rahul, is ready to take the reins of the country and bring it back on the path of progress and prosperity," Singh said.
He said the entire Congress party is currently in election mode. "All of us, including me, are ready to put all our might into ensuring that the party wins each one of them," he said.
When asked whether opposition parties would be able to accept Rahul as the leader of a united alliance against the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, Singh said all like-minded parties which have the best interests of the nation at heart will embrace him warmly as their leader.
"Other opposition parties know that the Congress is the only party that can lead an effective campaign against the BJP, and they also know that Rahul is more than capable to leading the united opposition. As I have said earlier, it is important to have the right kind of alliances at this juncture if we are to save the nation from the misgovernance of the BJP and its allies," he said.
Singh expressed confidence that the Congress would win each of the states going to polls, referring to the assembly electons in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram and Chhattisgarh.
Asked whether he would form an alliance with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab for the 2019 elections if there is a national alliance of the Congress with them, Singh said the Congress in Punjab will sweep the election on its own and does not need allies.
"We have also conveyed this to the Congress high command. But at the same time, we have told them that the final decision rests with them, which they would need to take keeping all exigencies in mind," he said.