Top
Millennium Post

Will he, won’t he? Cong awaits Rahul’s next move

Will the suspense over Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi's next step finally end this month?

It could well be with the Congress agog with talk that Gandhi, 42, may assume a more proactive role - whether within or as minister - and provide the much-needed boost to the party, rendered on the backfoot over the coal mines allocation controversy.

And the time is now, say party insiders, with elections to Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh expected to be held later this year.

Both the states are ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The Congress is therefore desperately hoping for an electoral edge even though insiders acknowledge that Rahul Gandhi is unlikely to hold the magic wand. He wasn't successful in Uttar Pradesh earlier this year. The odds are anyway enormous with corruption scandals and the economy in doldrums. But the prince-in-waiting is young, has a clean image of an idealist and, of course, the famed Gandhi charisma, say Congress workers.

They are willing to stake their all on Rahul Gandhi, despite stringent attacks by the opposition and scepticism by political observers on whether he was ready to take the initiative. On Wednesday, even the Samajwadi Party that gives outside support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), said it has no faith in Rahul Gandhi.

'Whoever understands Indian politics will say that Rahul Gandhi does not seem to have the qualities to lead the country in view of the challenges it s facing,' party leader Mohan Singh said in Kolkata.

Nonetheless, Congress leaders say Gandhi's next move, talked about for over a year and a half, is expected to boost the morale of the party, still smarting from the opposition charges of corruption, electoral debacles in states like Uttar Pradesh and Punjab in March, and faulty allocation of coal blocks. 'Whatever changes have to be done should be done in time, so that the new leaders get adequate time to prepare the party for the electoral challenges ahead,' said a cabinet minister who did not wish to be named.

'We want a bigger role for Rahul Gandhi,' the minister said. For the Congress, the suspense is on, while Sonia decides.
Next Story
Share it