New Delhi: In a game changing move, the Congress on Saturday appointed Rahul Gandhi as the Vice President of the party at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting in Jaipur making the clamour to make him the party's prime ministerial candidate only grow louder. Defence Minister AK Antony proposed Rahul's name for the post and the CWC unanimously backed Antony's proposal. Sources, however, said that it was for sister Priyanka Gandhi's insistence that Rahul agreed to take over the charge.
The big question now is if Rahul will be able to come up with ideas which will help him prove his potential on the national political field. Here is an excerpt from a debate on CNN-IBN's India @ 9:
Amrita Tripathi: The Congress has officially made Rahul Gandhi the number 2. They think it's a game changer, how do you view that?
Rajdeep Sardesai: How will India see him? You see today in India, can a Rahul Gandhi take on a Mamata in Bengal, can he take on a Mulayam or a Mayawati in UP, can he take on a Jagan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh, these are all the questions that have to be raised. Can he take on Narendra Modi in Gujarat, can he take on Shivraj Singh Chauhan in Madhya Pradesh. India has changed. It needs a new big idea to attract the new Indian voter. One of those ideas which is possibly being hinted at is that Rahul Gandhi will be asked to aggressively court India under the age of 40.
Yogendra Yadav: Congress is excited, it has a reason to be excited. Congressmen have something to latch on to. The real question is what has India got from this announcement. Is there more hope about politics than there was two days ago or two years ago? Are there new ideas now? Does he have the political judgement? Does he have the political skills? Does he have the political stamina in an election which he might lose? That's where we don't have clear answers so far. Rajdeep said he's a 'Brahmastra' (supreme most weapon) in a fight. I wasn't sure if it was a 'Brahmastra' or was he an 'aahooti' (sacrifice), in this 'yagna'.
I think we are also headed for a situation that it is going to become a Modi vs Rahul fight, whether or not both of them are designated as PM candidates of their respective parties. Even if they're not we are moving into that situation, and both will eye aspirational India, that is now becoming very, very clear.
Yogendra Yadav: I have said it time and again that Modi represents a dark side of democracy, not just because of majoritarianism but also his authoritarian style of functioning. But Rahul Gandhi at this stage represents a side of our democracy which is again not so deep, but a shallow aspect of our democracy. He's there because of his dynastic connections. He's there because of where he was born.
Rajdeep Sardesai: These are all interesting and exciting questions. All that one can say is that we are heading towards a major 'yudh' (war).