National

Is Priyanka Gandhi up for elevation too?

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on November 22, 2017

With Rahul set to take over as Congress president, his sister may join core team

With the almost certain ascension of Rahul Gandhi as Congress president, party insiders believe that his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will take up a formal position in his core team.

Party sources told BusinessLine that there is a strong chance that Priyanka will become a general secretary in the Congress, in charge of Karnataka or Rajasthan.

Both the States are facing Assembly elections next year, and the Congress believes its chances are rather high in Rajasthan and quite good in Karnataka.

Party veterans such as Manmohan Singh, AK Antony and Ahmed Patel are vetting the proposal to give a key position to Priyanka. “They will think of the proposal, look at the pros and cons and will submit their views before other leaders,” an insider in the Rahul camp told BusinessLine.

Though Priyanka was active in the election campaign in Rae Bareli and Amethi, the constituencies of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi respectively, she was apparently reluctant to take up any organisational responsibilities.

But a number of Congress leaders have publicly expressed a view that the party would benefit a great deal if she joins active politics.

Historical crisis

The ongoing manoeuvres are also interpreted as facilitating a launching pad for Priyanka when the party is facing a historical crisis politically and organisationally. Sources said “the family” wants to ensure that there is “complete centralisation” of affairs in Congress and the family should have the final say in making decisions, as it used to be.

Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi also started his active political career as a general secretary of the Congress.

Though Rahul was a Member of Parliament since 2004, he became a general secretary only in 2007. He was elevated as vice-president in 2013.

Key supporters

Rahul is also keen to bring in some fresh faces to the central leadership. Some of his acolytes, who are already at the centre with some key responsibilities, may also get promotion as general secretaries.

The party is unlikely to elect a new vice-president when Rahul becomes president.

There were reports that former PM Manmohan Singh or senior leader AK Antony may be deputed as the next vice-president. “The post is likely to be left vacant for the time being. In the past, only Arjun Singh held the post,” another leader said.

Published on November 22, 2017
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