NEW DELHI: Nearly six months after he stepped down as Congress president, Rahul Gandhi looks poised to take over the reins of the party once again from his mother Sonia Gandhi, who took over as interim president back in August this year.
Over the last few days, many senior Congress leaders, including the likes of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Bhagel and MP CM Kamal Nath have batted for Rahul to lead the party as they believe only he can take on the Narendra Modi led government head-on.
According to party sources, Sonia has always been in favour of Rahul leading the party and the name of the Gandhi scion is being pitched again as part of a well-planned strategy.
“These people (Gehlot and Bhagel) made a call now. I made it some time ago. This (Sonia as interim president) is not a permanent thing, it was a stop-gap arrangement and we are going to soon have a full-time president. She can’t hold the post because of her health,” Nath said when asked about Rahul coming back as party chief.
The change in the top leadership is expected to come early next year, possibly after Delhi Assembly elections, when the party is also expected to hold its AICC session.
According to reports, the party’s ‘Bharat Bachao Rally’ scheduled for Saturday on economic slowdown was postponed twice because Sonia wanted Rahul, who was abroad, to address it.
“Rahul can’t limit himself to be just Wayanad MP and has to play a bigger role. During the rally, Rahul will be one of the main speakers and there are chances that sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra may not even speak,” said a party leader.
Members of Rahul’s camp have been pitching for his return ever since he stepped down and several online campaigns were run to bring him back. He had stepped down in May, after his party managed to win only 53 seats in the LS elections and ended up losing the famous Gandhi bastion of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
“Priyanka is likely to limit herself to reviving the party unit in UP. Many leaders have already said it is important to have a Gandhi leading the party to keep it together,” said the leader.