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Rahul Gandhi to take over a more important role in the Congress ?




A few days back, Salman Khurshid gave an interview to the media where he talked essentially about how Rahul Gandhi was not stepping up to properly guide the party for the future, about how it was required for him to ensure that he did not just restrict himself to his youth Congress role, and how his not coming forward was hurting the party. There was a lot of media attention including the fact that the party had criticized him for his statement, but his closeness to the high command made this statement a bit surprising. He did not really change his stand, only stating that he had been misquoted, and that further discussions will happen inside the party. A few days later, he was again making more statements on behalf of the party, which indicated that there were no restrictions on him; at the time of his earlier statements, there were a few media reports that were more in the nature of this being a planned move to start the process of introducing Rahul Gandhi to greater prominence and more obvious party within the party.
There is no doubt about the power structure within the party, with Sonia Gandhi being the #1, and then Rahul Gandhi. Manmohan Singh does not really figure in a very powerful position, and if the support of Sonia Gandhi were to waver even a minute, many of his ministers would not even bother to listen to him. Even when Pranab Mukherji was following economic policies that were not approved by Manmohan, there was apparently nothing that the Prime Minister could do, but wait for Pranab Mukherji to leave his Finance Minister job.

Now, the chorus to get Rahul Gandhi in a more apparent power position within the party is growing, and is being encouraged by the party apparatus, with even Sonia Gandhi stating that it is for Rahul Gandhi to decide his position; after all, it is his party and he can decide to be what he wants, whether this be the party chief, a General Secretary or the Prime Minister; and no bothering about any processes to put him in the desired position, or more important, his ability for the position.
With the recent elections in Uttar Pradesh pointing to the failure of Rahul Gandhi to sway the masses, and the same in Bihar sometime back, there has been no real vindication of the claimed winnability factor for the heir apparent. For some time after the disastrous Uttar Pradesh elections, Rahul Gandhi was missing from the scene, apparently vacationing outside the country; but now the push to make him a leader within the party is again peaking and this pushing and prodding is likely to continue. There are more leaders within the party who are again talking about him being the Prime Minister, and a couple of media articles talk about Manmohan Singh being on his last years, with Rahul Gandhi set to be the Prime Ministerial candidate.
At the same time, projections talk about the Congress being at a historic low in the next elections, with very little urban support and even traditional votebanks getting wiped out. One wonders what magic Rahul Gandhi will be able to bring out in the Congress ..




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