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.
Photo PTI

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

“The focus area is to minimise pendency, do more quality work”

The functioning of a national commission, be it NHRC, NCSC or NCST, depends on its head. Being the chief information commissioner (CIC), what is your vision for CIC?  And what has been your experience so far? The chief information commissioner and ten informa

CIC’s changing status quo

With the help of Right to Information (RTI), the common man not only has the right to know, but also the right to question those in power. This is the foundation of democracy,” said prime minister Narendra Modi at the tenth anniversary celebrations of the Central Information Commission (CIC)

Do you think the fiscal year should be from January to December?

Do you think the fiscal year should be from January to December?

Will Delhi see the highest ever turnout in the upcoming civic polls?

Historically, voter turnout for local elections has lagged behind state assembly elections and general elections.    For example, a recent report by Janaagraha shows that Surat recorded 40 percent voter turnout in local polls, 30 percent less than state elections

Women sensitized about their rights

 A group of women were sensitized about their rights at a workshop held in the national capital on Saturday. They were informed about the anti-harassment laws and legal provisions to safeguard women inside and outside their workplace.   The workshop – organ

AAP’s uncertain future, irony of being Advani, and an author seeks freedom of speech

The Narendra Modi- Arvind Kejriwal antagonism has always been about two different kinds of populism. While it may not play out in a municipal election, the fact remains that a Kejriwal chastened by Goa and Punjab faces a mid-term test in the municipal elections. For a politician harbouring intentions of



Video

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter