What made Sonia oppose Rahul's nomination?
The decision was taken during the AICC meeting held in Delhi on Thursday evening. Although many senior leaders in the party pitched to declare Rahul as PM nominee, the party chief Sonia opposed the idea citing the grand old party's 'traditions'. In Congress the question of making anyone the PM candidate never arose starting from the era of Jawaharlal Nehru to the 2004 elections, which the party fought under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi.
In his recent press conference, prime minister Manmohan Singh had said that Congress party would decide on its prime ministerial candidate and announce it at an "appropriate" time. However, he had hinted that post-elections, he will quit in favour of Rahul Gandhi.
Congress developing a cold-feet?
As Arun Jaitley said, is Congress developing a cold-feet ahead of the elections? In the recently concluded assembly elections, the party had suffered an embarrassing defeat in the hands of the chief opposition party BJP and the young entrant AAP in all the states except one. The party's chances of winning the Lok Sabha polls is seemingly bleak.Sonia's decision could be to save Rahul from an imminent embarrassment post-polls.
The clamour for Rahul at the meet came from Kerala UDF leader Ramesh Chennithala, who was immediately supported by leaders including B.K. Hari Prasad, Gurudas Kamat, Ghulam Nabi Azad and youth Congress chief Rajiv Satav. There was a strong demand from inside the party to declare Rahul as PM nominee. After Rahul stated this week that he was ready for any role the party suggests, the speculation had become stronger.
However, Rahul will lead the party's Lok Sabha election campaign. His very tough job will be to lead Congress to victory in the Lok Sabha polls, facing the tough challenge raised by BJP's prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.