Why Rahul did not become a minister

Sonia Gandhi gave the answer on Thursday. “He is the reason,” she said, pointing at her son and the Congress’ youth icon Rahul Gandhi. The Congress president was talking to media-persons after the swearing-in ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. She was asked why Uttar Pradesh (UP), where her party staged a turnaround in the just-concluded polls, was not adequately represented in the Union Council of Ministers.
“He (Rahul) is refusing to become a minister. He wants to work for the party,” she said, suggesting that the young Congress MP from Amethi in UP could have been another representative of the state in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s team. Ever since the Congress staged a spectacular show by winning 206 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats, clamours for greater role of Rahul in the government was getting louder as the young scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty had not only campaigned extensively for the party across the country, but had also scripted its ‘go-alone’ mantra in UP.
Rahul is being credited for the Congress’ revival in the state and is believed to be the future prime-ministerial candidate of the party.  Singh had earlier said that he would like to have Rahul in the Council of Ministers, though the latter had been reluctant to join the government.
Singh had also told journalists that he would persuade Rahul to accept a ministerial berth. But his persuasion has clearly not yet worked on the young Congress MP, who is not among the 79 ministers sworn in so far.

Building party

Rahul on Thursday said that he wanted to work for the party and that was why he did not accept a berth in the Council of Ministers.
“I believe in doing one thing at a time. I do not believe in doing six jobs at one time. Then I cannot do justice to any one of those jobs,” he said, clearly suggesting that building on the gains the party has made in UP and key states was his priority, at least for now.
A day after the Congress crossed the 200 mark, recording its best performance in the last 18 years, the party president set for it the target of returning to its “historical role as the party of natural governance”. The grand old party needs to consolidate its support base in ‘Hindi Heartland’ as well as other states to achieve its new target of regaining its pre-1991 glory. Uttar Pradesh MPs Salman Khurshid and Sri Prakash Jaiswal were sworn-in as the Ministers of State (Independent), while Jitin Prasada, a member of Rahul’s youth brigade, R P N Singh and Pradip Jain took oath as Ministers of State.
“UP is adequately represented in the Council of Ministers. UP needs fundamental changes more than representation in the government,” said Rahul.
He said the Congress was silently working to regain its lost place in the UP politics.

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