Tuesday, 17 October, 2017

Rahul may take charge as Congress prez after Diwali, says Sachin Pilot

Rahul Gandhi with mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi Rahul Gandhi with mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi
Christy Curtis | 03 October, 2017, 02:16

Asked if the time had come for a generational change in the Congress and for the old to make way for the young, the Rajasthan Congress chief in a PTI interview said, "It is not a question of making way; it is a question of working together".

Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee chief Raj Babbar termed the attempt to postpone Rahul's visit by the district administration an act of "cowardice and fear". "The mere last name will only take you so far", added Pilot, the son of former Union Minister and Congress heavyweight Rajesh Pilot.

The Amethi MP's elevation as the Congress' national president had always been a foregone conclusion and the only question about it has been about the timing.

Uttar Pradesh government "granted" permission to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to visit his parliamentary constituency, Amethi, on October 4, a day after the government asked Rahul to reschedule his visit by a day, citing administration's inability to provide him with adequate security.

Though Mr Pilot did not name anyone for the post, but since Rahul Gandhi's name had been a constant for past three years now, it is likely that he will be the one who gets the post after Diwali this year. The party's Central Election Authority (CEA) is finalising state lists of the electoral college for the election of party president.

The organisational polls of Congress are now underway, Pilot said, adding that the grass-root level cadres have appealed the party to cause no further delay in Rahul's elevation to the top post.

"To my mind, there is a general sentiment in the party that he should take over as the party president", Pilot said. "BJP is afraid of Rahul, " Singh said.

Many in the Congress believe that Rahul's recent visit to the United States where he stridently took on Modi and the BJP on a range of issues, has been well received by leaders within the party, sympathizers on the grassroots and that section of the Indian electorate that has been hit the hardest by issues like demonetisation, economic downturn, lack of jobs and the GST rollout - all of which the Congress vice president red-flagged.

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