Wait over, Rahul says ready for ‘larger role’

FP

Amid the growing clamour by senior party leaders to give him a "larger role" in the organisation, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi today indicated his readiness to move beyond students' and youth wings of the party and take up a bigger responsibility, either in the government or the party. Congress sources said a final decision on his next role was yet to be taken.

Asked if he would play a more active role in the Congress as demanded by many party leaders, Rahul told NDTV today, "That decision has been taken. It has been under discussion of the party leadership."

To another question on whether he would take up a bigger role in the party or the government, he replied that "both options are open". He declined to set any time frame, saying that it was for the "two bosses (Congress president and the Prime Minster)" to decide.

While Rahul's remarks set off speculation about his induction in the government either as minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office or as a cabinet minister with a key portfolio, Congress sources said the issue of whether he would join the government was still "open" and the party leadership will take a call after studying the "pros and cons".

"While his induction will certainly give a new look and revitalise the UPA government, one has to see whether his presence in the Council of Ministers will, in any way, undermine the existing power set-up. Besides, from the beginning, Rahul has been focussing on reviving and rejuvenating the party and it has to be discussed whether his preoccupation with governance, if he is made a minister, will have any bearing on his primary goal," a senior Congress leader told The Indian Express.

"We will be very happy if Rahul takes on some more responsibility and it will be a very welcome step. What responsibility (whether in the government or the party) and when is upto the party leadership and him to decide," said AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi in a press release.

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