New Delhi: Congress General Secretary and Amethi MP is already the No. 2 in the party and there is no need to anoint him, the party said on Monday. Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury while addressing a press conference in New Delhi said that Rahul has been shouldering the responsibilities for a long time. "This is stating the obvious. I don't think there is any need to anoint Rahul Gandhi. He is number two and he is carrying on with his job," said Chowdhury.
There have been speculations that Rahul Gandhi is likely to be elevated and made the Congress Secretary General or Working President. Many younger faces from Rahul's team took charge or were moved up to meaty portfolios during the Cabinet reshuffle on October 28. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said after the reshuffle that Rahul didn't want to become a minister as he wanted to strengthen the party.
With the new look, Congress is expected to have a few young general secretaries, those belonging to his team, in important party positions. Seniors like Ambika Soni are expected to be a part of this new set up. Unlike in the past, over the past few months, Rahul has stepped beyond his youth Congress agenda, choosing poll candidates, to being party to important decisions.
But there is also a cynicism as to whether Rahul's rise would make a difference to a party which seems to be losing its grip, particularly in major states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. His high decibel campaign in Uttar Pradesh didn't work during the Assembly election and neither has he been seen airing his views of the major issues before the country. Rahul has remained silent during the worst crisis of the UPA.
During the rally at New Delhi's Ramlila Maidan on Sunday, Rahul Gandhi led the Congress's war cry against the opposition over corruption and FDI in multi-brand retail. The rally showcased the Congress's desire to push Rahul to the forefront with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his Haryana counterpart Bhupinder Singh Hooda demanding that he be giving a more responsible and prominent position in the party. Amid sloganeering in Rahul's favour the Congress leaders declared that he was India's future leader.