Only Rahul will decide on larger role Sonia
New Delhi: Amid rising
voices within the Congress urging Rahul Gandhi to join the UPA government,
party president Sonia Gandhi Wednesday said it was only for her son and
party general secretary to decide on taking up a bigger role. "No one can
take a decision on his behalf. He has to take a decision," Sonia Gandhi
told reporters in parliament house.
She was accompanying United
Progressive Alliance (UPA's) vice presidential candidate M. Hamid Ansari
who filed his nomination papers for a second five-year term. The remarks
from the Congress chief came as Congress leaders in recent days have urged
Rahul Gandhi to move to the party's mainstream amid growing clamour for
projecting him as prime ministerial candidate in the next Lok Sabha polls,
likely in 2014.
Congress leader Digvijay Singh, one of the
vociferous proponents of Rahul Gandhi taking up the top job, Wednesday
also expressed confidence that he would lead the party at "an appropriate
time". "Certainly, I am quite confident that Rahul Gandhi has all the
potential and ability to not only perform but also to lead the party at an
appropriate time," Digvijay Singh told reporters at the same event.
Singh was pointedly asked if Rahul Gandhi would be projected as the next
prime ministerial candidate of the Congress. He said the issue was for the
party to decide and "I can't say anything on it".
said that Sonia Gandhi would lead the Congress in the next election
elections. "There is no doubt about it. We are working as a team in which
Rahul will be an important part." The voices for Rahul Gandhi's bigger
role grew louder after Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid in a
newspaper interview said the ruling party was yet to get any ideological
direction from him.
"Until now, we have only seen cameos of his
thought and ideas like democratising elections to the Youth Congress. But
he has not weaved all of this into a grand announcement. This is a period
of waiting," Khurshid said. The comments sparked a row forcing him to
clarify that he had urged "the young and new leadership of our party to
prepare themselves to lead from the front, to prepare themselves to take
on the challenge of our times".
Earlier last month, External
Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna suggested that Rahul Gandhi should join the
government as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had already invited him and
that invitation still stands.
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