Amid talk of a Cabinet reshuffle, Congress today said Rahul Gandhi will decide on the issue of joining government.
"The party and Rahul will decide", party spokesman Sandeep Dikshit told reporters when asked whether the young leader, who has been invited time and again by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to join the government, will do so.
Gandhi had met the Prime Minister last week, a day after Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the Prime Minister had separate meetings with President Pranab Mukherjee.
There have been repeated demands from within the Congress that Gandhi play a "larger role" in the organisation and the government.
"It is purely the prerogative of the Prime Minister", Dikshit said when asked when the reshuffle exercise is expected. He suggested that the Prime Minister in consultation with Sonia Gandhi, who is also UPA Chairperson, will decide on the issue.
"Ask Salman Khurshid", was his cryptic reaction when asked whether the Law Minister has cancelled his trip to Haj in view of the impending cabinet reshuffle. The Law Minister is facing controversy over donations to the NGO run by him.
There has been speculation about a reshuffle in the Cabinet for quite some time now, especially after the exit of Trinamool Congress ministers both at the levels of Cabinet and Ministers of State.
There have been berths vacated by DMK representatives A Raja and Dayanidhi Maran in the last two years after their names cropped in the 2G scam. However, DMK President M Karunanidhi has recently made clear that his party will not like to reclaim their lost berths.
Congress sources say that the reshuffle and induction could be largely from the party. There is speculation that some young faces, considered close to Rahul Gandhi, like Manick Tagore and Meenakshi Natarajan could be inducted into the council of ministers.