'Rahul clout growing, Sonia to decide on new role' | delhi | Hindustan Times
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'Rahul clout growing, Sonia to decide on new role'

delhi Updated: Nov 09, 2011 12:00 IST
HT Correspondent

For the first time since furious speculation started in the media about Rahul Gandhi playing a bigger role in the party organisation, perhaps even taking over his mother’s role, the Congress on Tuesday officially said the Amethi MP’s growing importance was no longer a matter of suspense.

“There is no suspense. He has a role, which is increasing constantly. In natural course, his role will go on increasing. This is what Congressmen want and this is what in their opinion is natural,” Congress media department chairman Janardan Dwivedi said.

Declining to specify what party post Rahul was likely to get, Dwivedi said, “Congress president Sonia Gandhi is here to lead the party and she will decide what to do and when.”

The statement came after reports that Rahul, a general secretary in the Congress, could be made its working president soon — an offer he had declined a few months ago.

Dwivedi also refused to give a timeline for the highly anticipated political move. “You should consider all other speculation as mere speculation for the time being,” he said.

The buzz started with Sonia leaving for the United States in August for treatment for an undisclosed medical condition. It got louder when she appointed a four-member team to look after party affairs in her absence and made Rahul a part of it.

The other members were defence minister AK Antony, Sonia’s political secretary Ahmed Patel and Dwivedi.

Significantly, the committee met four times while Sonia was away, every time at Rahul's Tughlak Lane residence.

According to party sources, Rahul has also been requested by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh “at least three times” to join the union cabinet, but he has chosen not to, so far.