New Delhi, Sep 30: It's election time in Gujarat. And it's his first litmus test after assuming a ''bigger role'' in his party.Last time when he took a headlong plunge into the assembly elections in the most populous state of the country to shore up the party's fortunes and regain its lost moorings, he ended up getting his fingers burnt as the Grand Old Party bit the electoral dust.
But this time the Gandhi-Nehru family scion is leaving nothing to chance and sparing no effort to make sure that it is his party which reaches the finishing line first, ahead of the saffron party which is presently ruling the diamond-rich state.
AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi, who will be canvassing for the Gujarat Assembly elections towards the end of the year, with a view to striking a chord with the electorate is at present undergoing a crash course in Gujarati and so one should not be stumped if tomorrow one hears the Amethi MP asking, '' Kem Chho''(How are you?) to the voter during electioneering.
Well-placed sources in the AICC here told the sources that the day is not far when the 37-year-old, presently swotting up on his Gujarati, will be a highly articulate speaker of the language, using it to his own advantage to the hilt to win over the voter in the elections.
They said the CWC member has already become well-versed in the language and he would be using this edge over the rivals in abundance during the elections to ''charm'' the voter. '' He has started speaking Dharapravah (fluent) Gujarati and that will stand him in good stead during the elections,'' the sources added.
Political analysts see the move as part of the bigger gameplan of the Grand Old Party to strengthen its claim and base in Gujarat.
The kind of clout Mr Gandhi wields at the Centre can be gauged from the fact that only two days after he advocated extending the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (NREGP) to the entire country, the UPA government on Friday decided to cover 593 rural districts under the rural job guarantee scheme, they noted.