With mentor Indira on mind, Rahul looks set to become Cong chief

Last Updated 19 November 2017, 18:30 IST

Offering rich tributes to the late prime minister Indira Gandhi on her birth centenary, Rahul Gandhi on Sunday remembered his dadi (grandmother) as his "mentor and guide", even as the Congress looked set to appoint him as the next party president.

"I remember you dadi with so much love and happiness. You are my mentor and guide. You give me strength," Rahul said on Twitter as top party leaders made brisk preparations to formally elect him as Congress president.

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) is meeting on Monday morning to finalise the schedule for the election.

Party sources, however, did not rule out the possibility of the CWC adopting a resolution elevating the 47-year-old as party president.

Either-or situation

A senior Congress leader told DH that many of the party's state units have already passed resolutions asking Rahul to assume the responsibility of president.

"It is an either-or situation. Either the election schedule or a resolution will be on agenda," the leader said.

Since 2000, when the late Jitendra Prasada had contested the presidential election against Sonia Gandhi, internal polls in the Congress have been an uncontested affair. Last November, the CWC itself had urged Rahul to take over as president and mobilise forces to fight against the "dictatorial rule" of the Narendra Modi government.

The appointment of the new Congress president is expected to take place in the middle of the Gujarat Assembly elections where Rahul has emerged as a key campaigner against the BJP in Modi's home state.

With Modi away in Delhi and no clear leader of the BJP in the state, the Congress is eyeing its chances of coming to power after a gap of more than two decades.

Final push

Modi is hitting the campaign trail from November 22 and is expected to address rallies in each of the 33 districts of Gujarat.

The final push by Modi in the Uttar Pradesh elections is considered to have turned the tide decisively in favour of the BJP earlier this year. The BJP plans to do an encore in Gujarat and has planned an extensive campaign schedule for its star campaigner.

Congress leaders hope that Rahul's elevation as party chief could take its campaign to a crescendo in Gujarat and create the necessary buzz ahead of the polling days - December 9 and 14.

(Published 19 November 2017, 14:56 IST)

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