Here are 10 key points about his elevation and what changes it indicates for the grand old party of Indian politics:
1. The Congress announced Rahul Gandhi’s elevation+ earlier this week after all 89 nomination proposals were found to be valid and since he was the only candidate in the fray.
2. The 47-year-old leader had taken over as the party’s vice-president in January 2013.
3. Rahul’s succession will be complete after Central Election Authority president Mullapally Ramachandran hands over the Certificate of Election to the newly-elected president of the party.
4. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, current and former chief ministers, MPs, senior Congress leaders, and all PCC chiefs and delegates will be present at the handing over ceremony.
5. Rahul will take over the reins of the party two days before the counting of votes for the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections. The results of these elections are significant precursors to the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
6. On Friday, when asked about her role after her son’s succession, Sonia Gandhi set off a political maelstrom with her response: “My role now is to retire.”+
7. While some speculated that her response signalled that she would withdraw from party affairs altogether, the Congress was at pains to clarify that she would remain involved in politics.
“I would sincerely request friends in the media to not rely upon innuendos. Sonia Gandhi has retired as president of Indian National Congress and not from politics. Her blessings, wisdom and innate commitment to Congress ideology shall always be our guiding light,” party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.
8. Sonia’s “retirement” remark+ may have caused jitters among the Congress’s old guard, as it could have implied that Rahul will be given a free hand in all matters.
9. Buzz that Priyanka Gandhi may contest the Lok Sabha election+ from her mother’s Rae Bareli constituency in 2019 if Sonia vacates the seat has gathered steam, especially after Sonia’s “retirement” remarks.
10. Even after stepping down from the post of president, Sonia will continue in two key positions – chairperson of the parliamentary party, and the head of the opposition bloc, UPA. It is not yet clear whether she will quit these posts.
News Credit: Times of India