New Delhi: Senior ruling Congress party leader Anil Shastri feels that the party may give the country its first Dalit (lower caste Hindu) prime minister in future.

Shastri, son of former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, said that this development may not be far off.

"Congress has made 4 (Dalit) CMs (chief ministers) in different states in past. Day is not far when it will give a Dalit PM, not for votes but for Dalit empowerment," Shastri posted ion his Twitter account Monday.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati, herself a Dalit, fuelled the speculation last week by saying that the Congress party may appoint either Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar or federal power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, both Dalits, as the prime minister for a short while ahead of next year's state assembly elections in her state to lure in the Dalit voters.

The Congress general secretary in-charge for Uttar Pradesh, Digvijay Singh though downplayed Mayawati's statement saying incumbent prime minister Manmohan Singh would remain in the post

Shastri, in an another tweet, said, "Mayawati can't be the only Dalit aspiring to be PM. There are many more qualified and capable leaders in the Congress."