New Delhi: The chorus for Rahul Gandhi playing a greater role in Congress party on Monday grew louder with Digvijay Singh demanding that he be given "decisive" responsibility and a senior leader making a strong pitch for projecting him as PM candidate in the next polls.
"Finally the time has come for him to assume a larger role...He had been confining himself to Youth Congress and the student wing of the party. He should come in the mainstream...This is the demand of all Congressmen. We all want that he works proactively," Singh said.
While Singh sought a "decisive" role for Rahul, the senior leader, who declined to be identified, said that projection of a PM candidate in the next polls scheduled in 2014, was "imperative in view of the changing times".
Party General Secretary Digvijay Singh speaking separately said that Gandhi, who has so far restricted his role to the affairs of Youth Congress and NSUI, should play a larger role from September, once the presidential elections are over.
The AICC general secretary, who downplayed contentions of his proximity to Gandhi, said, "Had Rahul imposed himself on the party in the very beginning, it would not have been good. Now when there is demand he should come". He was asked why the clamour for Rahul was growing now.
His comments come just days after Law Minister Salman Khurshid was quoted by a newspaper as having said that the party had seen just cameos of Rahul Gandhi's thoughts and ideas, and that the party was waiting for him to weave these into a grand announcement - remarks that the minister subsequently said were misinterpreted.
Singh, however, refused to clarify what he meant by larger role for Gandhi amid speculation that Gandhi could become party's Vice President. After Pranab Mukherjee's exit from the all-powerful Congress Core Group, the young leader could also be formally brought in there.
"Larger role does not mean the Presidentship in any party," Singh said, adding that the party will fight the next Lok Sabha elections under Sonia Gandhi's leadership.