The suspense over Congress scion Rahul Gandhi’s future course of action hit a crescendo on Thursday with the man at the centre of the speculation breaking his silence to indicate that he is not averse to “taking up a more proactive role” in the party or the government.
Right after casting his vote in favour of UPA’s presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee, Rahul told the media that he will indeed play a “more proactive role in the party and the government. The decision has been taken, the timing is up to my two bosses — Congress president and Prime Minister”.
Interestingly, as he was making the statement — which spread like wildfire — his mother and party chief Sonia Gandhi patiently stood by him. It was hard to miss the step-by-step build-up that culminated in this rather revealing remark from Rahul. Just a day ago, Sonia had told the media, “It is for Rahul to take the decision, he alone can take that decision.” In keeping with the drama, a day later the scion himself indicated he’s ready and the wait is over.
But what sent Congress circles in a tizzy was the broad hint the young MP, who is usually coy about committing himself, dropped about his willingness to take on a role in the government as well. “Till now, it was only about a ‘proactive’ role in the party that was being discussed, Rahul’s offer widened the scope,” sources said.
No one in Congress was ready to put a time-frame to Rahul’s possible elevation to the new role. Indications are that there’s a window for a reshuffle between the swearing-in of the new President of India on July 25 and the start of the Monsoon Session on August 8. Even if Manmohan Singh retains the finance portfolio for more time, the ruling side will need to have a new Leader of House in LS before the session begins.