Rahul is Cong No 2, inches closer to big fight against Modi

To take on Modi party seeks to attract youth and middle class to counter BJP star

bhavdeepkang

Bhavdeep Kang | January 19, 2013


Rahul Gandhi at the Congress chintan shivir in Jaipur.
Rahul Gandhi at the Congress chintan shivir in Jaipur.

The hotly anticipated gladiatorial contest between Congress heir apparent Rahul Gandhi and the BJP's Narendra Modi -- whehter or not their respective parties name them as prime ministerial candidates -- came one step closer to reality as the former became the vice president of his party during its chintan shivir in Jaipur on Saturday.

Also read: Congress plans Rs 100 crore social media war chest

The "elevation" came after a day long, well orchestrated campaign starting with informal press briefings by minister Rajiv Shukla as well as IYC and NSUI delegates on the demand for Rahul taking on a pivotal role in the party and ended with a burst of firecrackers, wild celebrations and a “Rahul rath yatra" at the shivir venue.

Whether or not Rahul will be a change agent remains to be seen, but the party is waiting eagerly to hear from him on Sunday, at the AICC session. Earlier in the day, he attended all the five sessions at the shivir turn by turn. He spoke to the delegates and interacted freely.

Later, at the meeting between the Congress president, the PM and Rahul with the committee chairman, he intervened to say that he felt the AICC was currently not a representative body and that it needed to be recast to reflect every demographic.

Rahul's elevation was proposed by the Congress number two, defence minister AK Antony, an indication that he will not just be the face of the 2014 campaign but may also be the candidate for the post of PM rather than finding a proxy - a post his mother declined nine years ago.

Rahul's elevation also explains the Congress's newound concern for the youth - 40 percent of the nation is under 30, the Congress leaders pointed out - and for the middle class. The latter is believed to be a fickle constituency which, disenchanted with Manmohan Singh, may well opt for Modi.

In the BJP, meanwhile, uncertainty continues to prevail, with the RSS yet to indicate if and when Modi would be allowed to take on the mantel of the top contender. While his elevation is considered to be as inevitable as that of Rahul, the timing is still not clear. Changes within the RSS top hierarchy are expected shortly which would have a bearing on the BJP leadership issue.

 

Comments

 

Other News

Are our authorities callous when it comes to ensuring safety of people?

Are our authorities callous when it comes to ensuring safety of people?

Unto the first few

Our constitution promises equality of status and opportunity to all citizens but statistical data suggests that inequalities in wealth and income have increased since independence and are now on an uncontrolled upward spiral. Recently, Thomas Piketty and Lucas Chancel in their aptly titled s

NTPC seeks protection for Gadarwara project

NTPC has sought the help of Madhya Pradesh government for the safety of Gadarwara power project site and the workers who have stopped the work on the site since December 22. It has appealed to the local people to support the project of national importance. Half of the electricity generated

BHEL to set up supercritical thermal power project in Maharashtra

The Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited (BHEL) will be setting up a 660 MW coal-based thermal power project with supercritical parameters in Maharashtra. The Rs 2,800 crore-project will be built as an expansion project (unit 6) of Maharashtra state power generation company (MAHAGENCO)’s Bh

Arm in arm

A confident New Delhi’s efforts to consolidate its ties with ASEAN will see a new meaning and significance when it conducts a commemorative summit with the group on January 25 and makes all 10 heads of state of the Southeast Asian countries chief guests for its Republic Day function the next day.

Improving livelihood with financial access is the task ahead

“Demonetisation has created an entire system of digitisation and financial inclusion,” said PK Gupta, managing director (Retail and Digital Banking), State Bank of India, at the launch of the Governance Now India Financial Inclusion Case Book in Mumbai on Friday. He further stated though there

Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter