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Sonia says only Rahul to decide on his larger role

Wednesday July 18, 2012 08:22:01 PM, IANS

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New Delhi: Amid rising voices within the Congress urging Rahul Gandhi to join the UPA government, party president Sonia Gandhi Wednesday said it was only for her son and party general secretary to decide on taking up a bigger role.

"No one can take a decision on his behalf. He has to take a decision," Sonia Gandhi told reporters in parliament house.

She was accompanying United Progressive Alliance (UPA's) vice presidential candidate M. Hamid Ansari who filed his nomination papers for a second five-year term.

The remarks from the Congress chief came as Congress leaders in recent days have urged Rahul Gandhi to move to the party's mainstream amid growing clamour for projecting him as prime ministerial candidate in the next Lok Sabha polls, likely in 2014.

Congress leader Digvijay Singh, one of the vociferous proponents of Rahul Gandhi taking up the top job, Wednesday also expressed confidence that he would lead the party at "an appropriate time".

"Certainly, I am quite confident that Rahul Gandhi has all the potential and ability to not only perform but also to lead the party at an appropriate time," Digvijay Singh told reporters at the same event.

Digvijay Singh was pointedly asked if Rahul Gandhi would be projected as the next prime ministerial candidate of the Congress.

He said the issue was for the party to decide and "I can't say anything on it".

He, however, said that Sonia Gandhi would lead the Congress in the next election elections. "There is no doubt about it. We are working as a team in which Rahul will be an important part."

The voices for Rahul Gandhi's bigger role grew louder after Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid in a newspaper interview said the ruling party was yet to get any ideological direction from him.

"Until now, we have only seen cameos of his thought and ideas like democratising elections to the Youth Congress. But he has not weaved all of this into a grand announcement. This is a period of waiting," Khurshid said.

The comments sparked a row forcing him to clarify that he had urged "the young and new leadership of our party to prepare themselves to lead from the front, to prepare themselves to take on the challenge of our times".

Earlier last month, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna suggested that Rahul Gandhi should join the government as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had already invited him and that invitation still stands.



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Picture of the Day

Mohd. Hamid Ansari filing the nomination papers for the Vice Presidential Election, in the presence of the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Chairperson, National Advisory Council, Mrs.Sonia Gandhi and other dignitaries, at Parliament, in New Delhi on July 18, 2012.



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