Several young MPs are eyeing the high-profile job of minister of state for external affairs, a coveted berth that fell vacant after Shashi Tharoor resigned.
The Rahul Gandhi brigade, known for glib talk and smooth manners, is pitching for the perch. But also in the fray are MPs from the Nair community in Kerala, Tharoor's home state.
The Nairs point out that with Tharoor's exit there is none from the community in the central cabinet. Even when Tharoor was in South Block, the Nair Service Society (NSS), the powerful community organisation, had been complaining of under-representation of the community at the centre.
With the NSS raising its voice and the state Congress leadership posturing favourably, all the three Nair MPs of the party from Kerala other than Tharoor have begun lobbying, sources say.