Congress general secretary and Sonia Gandhi's political advisor Ahmed Patel has said he finds "no difference between Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi." Mr Patel also said that Mr Gandhi is the Number 2 in the Congress and will lead the party's election campaign in 2014.
Speaking exclusively to NDTV from Gujarat, where he has been campaigning, Mr Patel said, "He (Rahul Gandhi) will definitely campaign. He has been in contact with the leaders and is taking an interest. Where an opinion is sought, we give our opinion."
He also spoke about enjoying Mrs Gandhi's trust. "This family has always been good to us, it has trusted us and we are trying to work to maintain that trust," Mr Patel said.
Mr Gandhi will campaign in Gujarat Tuesday, party officials said. He will address public rallies at Jamnagar, Amreli and Ahmedabad during his day-long election campaign.
The Congress also recently announced that Mr Gandhi, son of the UPA president and Amethi's 42-year-old MP, will head its coordination committee for the Lok Sabha elections, and for eight states that will vote before or with the general elections. Mr Patel is a part of this group which also includes general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh, trusted advisor Digvijaya Singh and Madhusudhan Mistry.
The committee has identified Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Karnataka as the five key states the party needs to focus on for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The states add up to 93 Lok Sabha seats among them.
There have been voices of excitement and enthusiasm from different quarters of Congress after Mr Gandhi's appointment. "It's quite clear now who is our commander and sipah salaar
in the fight that lies ahead...whose footsteps are we going to follow. You know the party is very excited; it has been demanding that apart from the work he has been doing with party youth and the support he is providing to Soniaji, he should now take charge " External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid had said last month.
Earlier this year, Mr Gandhi had charge of the Congress' campaign in Uttar Pradesh, an effort that delivered disastrous results for the party. Mr Gandhi led his party in the UP elections and the Congress placed a low fourth, despite his tenacious campaign. The ignominy was underscored by the fact that it was another young politician, Akhilesh Yadav, who won the state overwhelmingly for the Samajwadi Party, which provides external support to the Congress-led government at the Centre.