The moment has arrived, and the man is willing.

Mr Rahul Gandhi, Congress General Secretary, has finally declared that he is ready to play a greater role in the Government and the party.

“I will play a more proactive role in the party and the Government. The decision has been taken, the timing is up to my two bosses – the Congress President and the Prime Minister,” he told a television channel after voting in the Presidential election here on Thursday.

The Gandhi family scion’s statement is significant as it comes at a time when the chorus within his party is growing for him to take on more responsibility before the 2014 general elections.

The chorus became louder after the party’s recent electoral reverses followed by media reports, both here and abroad, on ‘policy paralysis’ in the UPA-II Government headed by Dr Manmohan Singh.

India Inc, too, has expressed its discontent, and the recent remarks of the US President, Mr Barack Obama, on ‘inadequate’ reforms have helped in fuelling this sentiment.

Interestingly, Mr Gandhi’s comments come a day after his mother and Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, said that it was for him to decide on playing a larger role in the party.

Soon after Mr Gandhi’s remarks were telecast, Congress leaders sprang into action. AICC General Secretary, Mr Janardan Dwivedi, said “We will be very happy if Mr Rahul Gandhi takes on some more responsibility.”

Other senior leaders including Mr Digvijay Singh, Mr M. Veerappa Moily and Mr V. Kishore Chandra Deo, also echoed this view.

aditi.n@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 19, 2012)
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