Rahul Gandhi continues to enjoy a “larger than life image’ among Congress workers and the next party president should be someone who can work in tandem with him, said former Law Minister Salman Khurshid on Thursday.

Admitting that the current state of affairs appears to be “a little confused run to the finishing line”, Mr. Khurshid appealed to his colleagues to “courteously find a way forward” on the leadership.

“I am very clear that Rahul Gandhi is not walking away. He has said that he is going to be in fight. Now, if he has said he remains in fight, he will not be a little Salman Khurshid or a little somebody else. He will be the larger than life leader that he has been, but he won’t be president,” the former Law Minister said in an interview with the The Hindu.

“We should be looking for a leader who can work in tandem and not a replacement for Rahul Gandhi. I think it will be a mistake to for a replacement while he is vigorous, determined and made a clear indication that he would be there to fight with the forces we want to fight,” he added.

Talking about the ‘young versus the old’ debate that has broken out in choosing the next Congress chief, he said, “The ideological position must be let’s have somebody who is really outstanding, somebody who is the best. It doesn’t matter what their age is. Obviously, if you are very old then you cannot lead for the next 10 years. We already have a young leader in Mr. Rahul Gandhi and you need a companion leader who could lead for the next five or 10 years and build from where we are today.”

Ahead of the formal launch of his book, Visible Muslim Invisible Citizen, the former Law Minister spoke with the The Hindu on a range of subjects: from the Congress’ current leadership crisis to the 2019 election results to discussing what defines an Indian Muslim.