Ahead of its crucial meeting on Friday, the Congress is keeping its cards close to its chest on the question of projecting party vice-president Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi casts his vote for Delhi assembly elections at a polling station in New Delhi. (Ajay Aggarwal/ HT photo)
Though it is understood that the general elections would be fought under his leadership, a debate has raged within the Congress on whether he should formally be declared as the PM candidate or not.
On his part, Gandhi made it clear a recent interview to Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar that he was willing to take up any responsibility given by the party.
But the opinion is divided in his party. While a section led by general secretary Digvijaya Singh is of the view that there is no need for the party to name its PM candidate before the elections. Another section, however, feels that Gandhi should be projected as the PM to boost the party’s prospects in the elections.
The development is a reminder of the party’s brainstorming session at Jaipur where Gandhi was anointed as its vice-president January last. Two hours before his announcement, a senior general secretary considered to Gandhi had ruled out any such development.
The Congress Working Committee is meeting on Thursday to clear the resolutions that would be taken at the day-long AICC session on January 17.