Though he was not present at Saturday’s core group meeting, Rahul Gandhi — with his elevation to the post of Congress vice-president — has joined the informal but supreme decision-making body of the party.
The 42-year-old Gandhi scion skipped the first core group meeting that discussed the contentious Telangana issue after his anointment as the party vice-president during the Jaipur conclave on January 19. “He will attend core committee meetings in the future,” party sources said. Till his ascent, he had repeatedly not shown any inclination to join it.
However, Rahul had earlier attended a core group meeting in September 2011 in the absence of his mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who could not take part in the discussions as she had returned from a surgery abroad barely a week ago.
Apart from Sonia and Rahul, the other members of the influential group are PM Manmohan Singh, defence minister AK Antony, finance minister P Chidambaram and the Congress president’s political secretary, Ahmed Patel. Home minister and leader of the house in LS Sushilkumar Shinde was initially invited to the panel on need basis, but was later inducted.
To avoid being seen as siding a particular group, Rahul on Thursday cancelled a meeting with leaders of the Seemandhra region at the last minute. His office has conveyed to leaders that a fresh appointment would be communicated to them later.