21 November, 2017
Rahul Gandhi today (Monday) looked set to take over the reins of the party from his mother on December 5, days ahead of the crucial Gujarat Assembly polls, with the Congress Working Committee (CWC) approving the schedule for the party president's election. Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who is holding the president post for the past 19 years, will continue to guide Congress, a party statement said. Though the session was stalled due to Assembly polls in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat, Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs may announce a week-long or 10-day Winter Session in November end or in December, said sources.
Mr Gandhi's immediate challenge is the polls in Mr Modi's home state of Gujarat, which takes place in two phases on Dec 9 and 14.
December 15 has been decided as the date of elections for the post of Congress president. "Thus, despite a disastrous track record, Rahul's elevation as the next Congress president was a foregone conclusion", he added. "NCP supremo Sharad Pawar has also appreciated him", said DMK's TKS Elangovan. The former Union minister, however, said his promotion would not lead to the party's old guard getting "thrown by the wayside".
A statement announcing the dates said the date of poll would be December 16 "if necessary".
Chance Of Rain, Snow - Or Both - Monday, Weather Service Says
Rain will be back in the forecast on Wednesday , along with breezy conditions and a high around 55 degrees. An areas of showers and steady rain crosses southern New England this afternoon and evening.
"Sonia Gandhi is our leader and mentor". Her role will be defined once Rahulji is elected the Congress President. She has always guided the Congress. Once the president has been named, he or she will choose a new CWC team comprising vice president, general secretaries and treasurer among other office bearers.
Sonia Gandhi, now 70, has been unwell in recent years and scaled down her public appearances because of the same. With the timeline for internal elections approved and with state units of the party having already passed resolutions endorsing Rahul's promotion, it is expected to be a mere formality.
Still, Mr Gandhi, who is often called a reluctant prince, has struggled to make his mark in Indian politics and has been unable to revive the Congress party - seen as a secular party with its traditional voter base in rural India and among minorities - with India today led by popular Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).