"There is no vacancy for the post of prime minister. We think there will be a Congress prime minister. I don't want to comment on that," party spokesperson Jayanti Natrajan told media persons at the All India Congress Committee briefing in New Delhi.
Natrajan was asked whether Pawar's projection as a prime ministerial candidate by his party tantamount to violation of the "coalition dharma" as his Nationalist Congress Party is a part of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance.
Speaking separately, AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh steered clear of questions on whether there would be a repeat of the 1996 after the polls, but gave enough hints to the newly formed Third Front against entertaining hopes of outside support from the Congress.
"The experiment of outside support has not succeeded," Digvijay said when asked whether the elections would throw up a hung verdict like in 1996 when Congress supported from outside the United Front government.
Taking a dim view of the Third Front floated by ten parties including the Left and six regional outfits, the Congress leader said, "Coalition for the sake of coalition is not stable if there is no ideology".
"Our main rival is the Bharatiya Janata Party and not the National Democratic Alliance. BJP is the only party with which we can never ally with," Digvijay added.