Sources said the leadership renewed its plans to convene a meeting of its apex decision-making body earlier this week and finalised it on Saturday. While the agenda of the meeting has not been formally revealed, insiders said the Party has no bigger subject on its mind than completing the organisational elections.
As per the party constitution, the CWC meeting is required to approve the schedule for the election of the party president, the final step of the ongoing internal polls.
As it is unlikely that there will be a contender to challenge Rahul, his election will be complete even as the Gujarat election peaks.
Rahul’s taking charge will bring the curtain down on mother Sonia’s 19-year stint as party chief and end a long apprenticeship that saw Rahul being named vice-president in January 2013.
There has been a mounting insistence in the Congress that he end lingering uncertainty and speculation and grasp the responsibility that will make him the fifth Nehru-Gandhi to head the party. His elevation in early December will mean that he heads into the final phase of the politically crucial Gujarat elections as AICC chief. Though he is anyway spearheading the party campaign in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state, the symbolic significance of being in charge of the organisation is expected to buoy the party on the ground.
The election, seen as a ‘Modi vs Rahul’ clash, also sets the stage for Rahul becoming the Congress’s prime ministerial candidate for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Though Sonia will step down as party chief, she is not expected to withdraw from politics altogether with some sections in the Congress seeing her playing a role in negotiations and coordination with non-NDA parties.
Rahul’s rise will also settle the wearying speculation about when the generational shift in the Congress hierarchy will come about. While he is unlikely to sideline party seniors- though there is unease among the veterans over what the transition will mean for them- younger leaders associated with him are likely to gain prominence.
There has been considerable confusion about the timing of Rahul’s elevation since the party’s internal polls reached the final phase last month. While his being named the president appeared imminent some time back, his tight poll campaign schedule and lack of word on the CWC meeting led to talk that this may happen after the Gujarat polls.
Interestingly, earlier this month Rahul was asked about his elevation by party managers at a meeting called to discuss nationwide protests against demonetisation and GST planned for the anniversary of note ban on November 8. On that day, he had cryptically responded that it would “happen soon” without specifying the timing. The lack of clarity led to Congress leaders refusing to talk definitively about the subject, after top office-bearers last month ventured to predict that it would happen soon after Diwali.
The issue of Rahul replacing Sonia as the head of Congress gained momentum over last couple of months and was seen as a done deal after he said as much in an interaction at the University of California in September.
Source : timesofindia