New Delhi/ Davos: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi officially took charge as the party's number 2 in Delhi this evening, promising to practice "positive politics." In faraway Davos, senior minister Kamal Nath said that for him and for every other Congressman, Mr Gandhi is also the only candidate for Prime Minister in 2014. (Watch: Kamal Nath to NDTV at Davos)
Mr Kamal Nath, speaking to NDTV on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, said, "It's not that a name is floating around, there is one single name...if you ask me personally I would say, and every section of the party would like to see him as that." He added the familiar Congress disclaimer that it is up to Mr Gandhi to take that decision.
At a three-day brainstorming session in Jaipur this weekend, many Congress leaders demanded that Mr Gandhi be named the Congress' next candidate for PM. A big Rahul Gandhi announcement did come, after months of anticipation, on Saturday, when he was officially elevated to Congress Vice President. But the Congress stopped short of stating that he would be its candidate for PM - party leaders explained that traditionally in the Congress, newly elected MPs choose the PM after elections.
In Delhi today, before heading into a meeting with party general secretaries and heads of departments at the Congress headquarters at 24, Akbar Road, Mr Gandhi promised that in an acrimonious political environment, "I want to get into positive politics because that will take this country forward." He also said he saw his party, the Congress as "the best instrument for change, the best instrument to bring youngsters into politics and I want to try and use this instrument to bring change and make it accessible to youngsters."
As vice-president, the 42-year-old Mr Gandhi is second only to party President and his mother Sonia Gandhi. He also heads the Congress' election campaign committee and will actively formulate electoral strategies for the Lok Sabha elections scheduled for 2014 and crucial assembly elections in nine states this year.
For his first day at work today, a relaxed Rahul wore a white kurta and jeans and sported a stubble. He was greeted at the AICC office by party functionaries with bouquets, shawls and garlands of Gandhian khadi thread.
Mr Gandhi today told senior leaders that he has a lot to learn from them and he wanted to "utilize the talent within the party".
The only other person to have held the post of vice president of the Congress was Arjun Singh, who was appointed by the then party president Rajiv Gandhi as his deputy in 1985.