Congress president Sonia Gandhi is expected to rejig the AICC, making way for Rahul to work side-by-side with party veterans, a much anticipated organisational change since the Lok Sabha debacle.
Congress sources said the re-shuffle of the party organisation could be done as early as next month, soon after the ‘Shradhh’ period, considered inauspicious, comes to an end on September 30.
Earlier, Rahul was expected to be appointed as Congress president in August, but the change of guard at AICC took a back seat after Sonia Gandhi took ill during a road show in Varanasi.
The 69-year-old Congress president fractured her left shoulder and had to undergo a surgery. Sonia, who also was suffering from high fever, had been advised complete rest till September end.
What has raised the hopes of the Congress members is the fact that Sonia is slowly getting back to work. “She has started sending signed notes and advisories to senior leaders. I have myself got three notes from her regarding the states I am in-charge of,” a senior AICC general secretary said.
Congress leaders believe Rahul Gandhi could be elevated to the post of AICC president through a resolution of the Congress Working Committee some time during the Winter Session of Parliament. The decision could be ratified at an AICC plenary expected to be convened in Delhi to coincide with the 99th birth anniversary celebrations of late prime minister Indira Gandhi.
The Congress is also expected to take a call on drafting Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Rahul’s younger sister, for the election campaign in Uttar Pradesh. There have been demands from the Congress leaders and workers alike on giving her a more active role in politics, beyond the family pocket boroughs of Amethi and Rae Bareli.
Priyanka has been quietly working behind the scenes by giving strategic inputs to the party leaders and overseeing the Uttar Pradesh campaign. “It is a decision that is best left to the family,” AICC spokesperson R P N Singh said when asked about Priyanka’s role in the Congress.