Rahul's remark triggers speculation about ministerial role
New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi's remark Thursday about playing a more proactive role in the government sparked off intense speculation about the likely ministry he could join.
Though the Nehru-Gandhi family scion also talked about his bigger role in the party, it was his remark about bigger role in government which attracted a lot of attention. It is the first time since Rahul Gandhi joined politics in 2004 that he has given indications about joining the government.
Congress sources said Rahul Gandhi has so far been reluctant to join the government but had finally opened up to the suggestion from party leaders.
Party media department chairman Janardan Dwivedi issued a statement Thursday which spoke about the possibility of Gandhi playing a bigger role either in the party or the government.
His statement triggered speculation that Rahul Gandhi could be projected as party's prime ministerial candidate for 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
"We will be very happy if Rahul Gandhi takes on some more responsibility and it will be a very welcome step. What responsibility (whether in the government or in the party) and when is up to the party leadership and Rahulji to decide," Dwivedi said.
Dwivedi earlier in the day said that Rahul Gandhi was slated to occupy number two position in the party after his mother and party president Sonia Gandhi.
"In future, his role would be after Congress president. That is clear," Dwivedi had said.
There was speculation in political circles that Gandhi could be given portfolio of defence which will enable him to be member of top panels, including Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). It will make him a member of the core committee which takes important decisions concerning the government.
The Congress also has to appoint Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha and it is not yet clear if the young leader will be chosen for the task.
Though Gandhi could also be first inducted in a social sector ministry, it will not make him a member of panels such as the CCS.
As for bigger responsibility in the party, there was also speculation about him being made a vice president of the party.
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