The motto for Team Rahul seems to have been “follow the leader”.
After Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, 38, ruled himself out of the new government, all the “Prince’s men” have decided to follow the suit. They have preferred working with the “boss” to joining the new government.
“It is not by order, but by choice,” a team member told Hindustan Times on the condition of anonymity. “We want to work with the boss. He is our inspiration.”
Though there are many young faces — Jitin Prasada, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot, RPN Singh and Agatha Sangma — in the new Council of Ministers, it has no member from Rahul Gandhi’s core team.
The members of Team Rahul — Jitendra Singh, Meenakhsi Natarajan, Ashok Tanwar, Prakash Joshi, Manick Tagore, Shakir Zaidi, Usha Rani, Vishnu Nath and Vijay Inder Singla — have opted for working with Rahul to strengthen the organisation.
Five of them — Jitendra, Natarajan, Tanwar, Tagore and Singla — have been elected to the 15th Lok Sabha.
Jitendra, 37, the AICC secretary assisting Rahul with the Youth Congress work, said the Gandhi scion has infused a new life to the organisation and attracted a large number of young voters to the party in the just concluded elections.
“Rahulji has initiated many reforms in the organisation. These include internal elections for local and state-level leaders who were previously appointed by state unit chiefs,” he told Hindustan Times. “We would like to carry forward those reforms.”
The scion of the erstwhile royal family of Alwar, who wanted to work for the party than contest the elections, said Rahul has institutionalised the process of internal democracy in the Congress.
Rahul has declined the offer to join the Manmohan Singh government on many occasions in the past.
He did not change his mind even this time when the party’s unexpected turnaround in several stated has been credited to him alone.
The party’s youth icon wants to spend the next two years or more in democratising the Congress and promoting its young leaders.
With elections in the Youth Congress in Tamil Nadu likely to be held soon, the entire process in the country is scheduled to be over by December 2010.
Buoyed by the elections results in 2009, the Team Rahul is now all charged up to achieve the “target of absolute majority for the Congress” in the 16th Lok Sabha polls in 2014.