New Delhi: The Opposition has once again taken on Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi after he was appointed to lead the party's co-ordination committee to strategise for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Raking up the Congress's debacle in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar Assembly elections despite Rahul Gandhi leading the campaign, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ally the Janata Dal (United) mocked at his track record.
Claiming that the Congress was giving Rahul too many chances, JD(U) spokesperson Shivanand Tiwari said, "Except for the Congress party and Sonia Gandhi, no one can see a spark in Rahul Gandhi." The BJP was even more scathing, saying that the party wished Rahul best of luck and hoped that he did not lead his party to another rout.
"This is not Rahul's first assignment. Earlier under his leadership the Congress fought UP and Bihar polls. Now he has been given the responsibility of overlooking the General Elections. We wish him all the best and hope that the outcome is not the same like the previous occasions," said BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain.
The Congress on Thursday announced that Rahul Gandhi would be the face of the party in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Rahul will be accompanied by senior leaders like Ahmed Patel, Digvijaya Singh, Jairam Ramesh and Madhusudan Mitry, who will also be a part of the panel. Apart from this, the Congress will have a publicity group and its members would be Ambika Soni, Digvijaya Singh, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Manish Tewari.
Over the past few months, Rahul's growing stature within the party and even the government has been becoming apparent. In the recent reshuffle, Rahul played a key role in deciding portfolios of the young ministers and also in choosing some of them.
Congress seems to be taking a huge risk by making Rahul the mascot for the next polls given that he was criticised for the Uttar Pradesh debacle. The Congress is also at a low when facing the polls with a double anti-incumbency to deal with. Rising prices, unpopular decisions like the cap on LPG and fuel hike has put the party in a precarious position.