Rahul elevation no surprise: BJP

The BJP on Saturday ridiculed the Congress decision to anoint Nehru-Gandhi family scion Rahul Gandhi as the vice-president of the party, saying it was not going to benefit the country.

"This is no surprise. It has been a well-known fact that only a Gandhi family member can become number two in the Congress. There is no reason for jubilation because he was never at number three. He was number two even earlier," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said after the Congress's announcement. "I do not see how the country is going to benefit from mere announcement of his position. Country is not going to benefit from it."

Earlier in the day, BJP said that the issue of what "role" Rahul takes within the Congress was of least importance to the electorate.

"The aspiration of Indian youth cannot be addressed with a clamour for a bigger role for Rahul Gandhi. This is the least concern of India and Indians," party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

He made light of Congress president Sonia Gandhi exhorting party cadres of being mindful of the aspirations of youth, saying that ruling party's concern was less for the youth of the country and more for Rahul.

"Sonia Gandhi has expressed concern for the youth and the middle class.... After being in power for nine years, she has spoken about their aspirations. There is a debate in the Congress about giving a bigger role to Rahul Gandhi but not about giving a bigger responsibility.... Is this a concern for the youth or a concern for Rahul Gandhi," Prasad said.

Referring to the reported clamour within the Congress to project Rahul as its prime ministerial candidate, Prasad suggested that the Congress was day dreaming because it "should understand that there is no vacancy for the post of Prime Minister in 2014 as the seat will be occupied by a BJP leader heading an NDA coalition".

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