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Rahul Gandhi could be assigned ‘greater responsibility’




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Published on: Sat, 19 Jan 2013 at 14:19 IST
Rahul Gandhi could be assigned ‘greater responsibility’
Jaipur: The demand for making Rahul Gandhi prime ministerial candidate is reaching great height in congress as the youth and senior party members have pitched for Rahul Gandhi's greater role in the ongoing Chintan Shivir.

The party's all-powerful Congress Working Committee (CWC) is expected to take up the issue on the final day of the Congress'Chintan Shivir in Jaipur today, the meeting starts at 7: 30 pm, reports say.

"The CWC is likely to take a call on the issue," Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla said today. "But it is for him (Rahul) to take the final decision," he added.

Speculations have gone rife over the fate of Congress as Rahul Gandhi is being projected as the prime ministerial candidate in 2014 in strong worded support within the party. It was visible today loud and clear at the Chintan Shivir.

"He (Rahul) represents the demographic dividend. We want him to lead in 2014 but he has to take the final call," Minister of State (independent charge) for Power Jyotiraditya Scindia said.

Senior Congress leader and Lok Sabha member Sanjay Nirupam also put his stamp on the idea, saying Rahul was the party's best bet as candidate for PM and there exists a good majority over this.

"It has almost been announced that the Congress is going to fight the 2014 elections under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi. He is our candidate for the post of prime minister after the 2014 elections," Nirupam said.

Rahul is a general secretary in the Congress and in-charge of the party's campaign committee for the 2014 elections. He neither leads the Congress - mother Sonia Gandhi does - nor is a part of the Manmohan Singh Cabinet, but has a big say in the party as well as the government.

Veerappa Moily said Rahul is "our leader in the present and for the future", Mani Shankar Aiyar asserted that the entire party would back the Gandhi scion provided he was ready for bigger responsibility.

Earlier, yesterday, MPs Raj Babbar, Avtar Singh Badana and others had made the demand for projecting Rahul as the prime ministerial candidate.

It is known that Rahul Gandhi has been named the chief strategist for the 2014 polls, even as the demands over his broad role remain to be under scrutiny.

The same feelings were apparent in Sonia Gandhi's speech yesterday, as the Congress battles to win voters who is facing the heat of rising prices, corruption and rising crime against women.

Chintan Shivir is being touted as the subtle platform to assign Rahul Gandhi hiked responsibilities ahead of the 2014 elections.

There has also been much talk of the 2014 elections being a straight contest between Rahul and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who, it is learnt, is set to be declared the BJP's face for the general elections.

But Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh feels the 2014 polls, far from being a Rahul-Modi contest, will be party vs party.
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