Rising clamour for Rahul to be anointed PM candidate

Rising clamour for Rahul to be anointed PM candidate

Though the Congress has not officially declared Rahul Gandhi its prime ministerial candidate, there appears to be a race among senior party leaders to anoint him to the coveted post.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who is also Leader of the Lok Sabha, on Thursday expressed the desire to see 43-year-old Rahul as the next Prime Minister of the country.
Congress spokesman P C Chacko said it was “common thinking” in the entire rank and file of the party that Rahul ought to take up the future leadership of the and the country.

These remarks come a day after the Congress vice-president declared at a public rally in Uttar Pradesh that the next government at the Centre would be of the youth.

Even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said last month that the Congress Vice President would be the ideal choice for the prime minister’s position after the 2014 election. “I would be very happy to work for the Congress party under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi,” Singh had said.
The clamour for a greater role for Rahul has been growing ever since he trashed the UPA government’s controversial move to promulgate an Ordinance to grant immunity to convicted politicians from disqualification.

While a section of Congress leaders speak about a greater role for Rahul with adulation, its allies want him to shoulder more responsibility in policy-making and not be an
extra-constitutional power centre.

Rahul did make amends for his outburst on the Ordinance by expressing regret over his choice of words while criticising the Ordinance. On Thursday, addressing a public function in Punjab, Rahul described the Prime Minister as his “guru” and a “man with good intent”.
The Congress, however, is still not clear on whether Rahul would be officially declared the party's prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

“That we don’t do. That is not our practice. Election tactics and strategies are decided on the eve of elections,” Chacko said in reply to a question on whether Rahul would be declared the prime ministerial candidate of the Congress, a move that would pit him directly against BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

Asked about Modi, the Congress spokesman said that the Gujarat Chief Minister was “no more the same” when he first came on the electoral scene. “Modi is declining,” Chacko said.

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