Even as the Congress maintained that it is for Sonia and Rahul Gandhi to jointly decide latter's future role, party general secretary Digvijaya Singh continued to bat for a “larger role” for the young Gandhi.
“Time has come for him to take a larger role in the party. He has so far confined himself to youth and students' wing of the party. He needs to come in the mainstream,” Singh said on Monday, a day after he predicted that Rahul will take a 'much more proactive role' after the presidential and vice-presidential polls.
While he refused to elaborate the precise role he would like Rahul to assume, Singh — Congress' general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh — categorically said that he was not looking forward to the young Gandhi becoming the party president anytime soon.
“Sonia Gandhi will lead the party for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Larger role doesn't mean the Congress president's chair,” Singh said.
Party spokesperson Manish Tewari said many party leaders have been articulating in favour of a larger role for Gandhi but it will be decided by Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. Tewari also added that since 2004, this sentiment has been echoed in the party circle.
The party refused to make any further interpretation of Singh's remarks. “It (interpretation) should be asked to the person who made the statements,” Tewari said.
Digvijaya Singh, who announced on Monday that he was ready to contest the 2014 general elections, also defended Rahul Gandhi's role in the party's electoral debacles in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
“For a political leader, victory and defeat are a part of his career,” he said.