Congress President Sonia Gandhi has told NDTV that Rahul
Gandhi alone will decide on whether he will play a larger role in the
party. When asked if there's a possibility of him serving as working
president or vice-president before the 2014 polls, she said, "It is for
Rahul to decide, he alone can take a decision on this."
There has been much talk within the party of whether Mr Gandhi will officially take on the mantle of No 2. In a recent interview that landed him in considerable controversy, Congress leader and Law Minister Salman Khurshid said "Until now, we have only seen cameos of his thoughts and ideas...but he has not weaved all of this into a grand announcement. This is a period of waiting."
Earlier this week, party leader Digvijaya Singh said "I am absolutely sure that Rahul will play a much more proactive role in mainstream of Congress Party. Let the Presidential and Vice Presidential polls get over," Singh told a private news channel.
As the general elections approach, there has been talk within the party about whether Mr Gandhi will agree to be projected as the prime ministerial candidate. International media reports, all critical of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently, have described him as a leader with little influence over his own cabinet. A story in the UK daily The Independent earlier this week said, "From within his ruling Congress Party there are repeated, if oblique, demands for him to step aside ahead in favour of his presumed successor, Rahul Gandhi."
Mr Gandhi accepted the blame for his party's spectacularly poor performance in the recent UP elections- the Congress placed a poor fourth, despite projecting him heavily as its leader. Mr Gandhi, his mother and his sister Priyanka had campaigned heavily in the election that was eventually swept by the Samjawadi Party, courtesy its 39-year-old leader Akhilesh Yadav.
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