Rahul may be declared PM candidate at AICC meet

Rahul may be declared PM candidate at AICC meet

Rahul may be declared PM candidate at AICC meet

The Congress on Monday dropped hints that party vice-president Rahul Gandhi might be declared the prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) meeting here on January 17.

If so, he would be pitted directly against Narendra Modi, who was declared the BJP’s choice for the top executive post in September.

AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi’s announcement of the AICC session, which is likely to be attended by around 1,500 members from across the country, triggered speculation over Gandhi’s projection as the prime ministerial candidate.

“I think the entire Congress party, and not just youngsters in the Congress party, are looking forward to the session and if there is an announcement made on the lines of announcing the prime ministerial candidate, I think we all will be very happy,” AICC secretary Priya Dutt said at a party briefing. This added grist to rumour mills.

“We would wish Shri Rahul Gandhiji is projected and he does take it on for the future. Right now, there is a consensus in the party and I do not think I have to explain that and I think all of us know it and this has been expressed even earlier also that it is his leadership which has the consensus in the party,” Dutt said.

She went on to add that Gandhi had already started projecting himself as the prime ministerial candidate, though in a subtle manner. “Aggressive projection is one thing and subtle projection is another. Rahul Gandhi is already doing it,” she said.

After the Congress rout in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi, president Sonia Gandhi had declared that the party would announce its prime ministerial candidate at an “opportune time”.

Meanwhile, the AICC session’s key agenda will be finalising the party’s strategy for the ensuing Lok Sabha elections. Rahul Gandhi has already announced that he will aggressively transform the party to take on future challenges.