Do you think Rahul Gandhi as president will change Congress fortunes?

Rahul Gandhi's elevation as Congress president was long overdue, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said today, describing the party vice president as "mature and competent".

However, it is clear now that Rahul Gandhi will be Congress president before the Gujarat elections. She has always guided the Congress party.

Rahul's elevation as party vice-president in 2013 should have been followed by his promotion to party president fairly soon. For a long time, Rahul Gandhi was said to be reluctant about assuming the reins of the party, and it was only at an interaction with students and faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, in the U.S. in September this year that he said he was ready for the job.

The third option was for the CWC to appoint Rahul Gandhi as chief of the party first and then get the decision ratified by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) at a special session, the Congress official added. The Election Commission has given the party the last extension for completing the internal poll process by the end of this year.

Rahul made his electoral debut in 2004 Lok Sabha election from Amethi, the family's traditional constituency earlier represented by his uncle Sanjay Gandhi, his father Rajiv, and mother Sonia.

Randeep Singh Surjewala and Jyotiraditya Scindia are also on the list.

She said the government was sabotaging the session on "flimsy grounds". Parliament is the forum in which questions should be asked - questions about corruption in high places, conflict of interest of serving ministers and dubious defense deals.

"Government will be obliged to answer these questions, but in order to avoid the questions and answers ahead of Gujarat elections, the government has taken the extraordinary step of not holding a Winter Session when it should be held", she said. "The Prime Minister had the audacity to have a midnight celebration in Parliament to launch an ill-prepared and flawed GST, but today he lacks the courage to face Parliament". "We enjoy good equation with her", he said.

  • David Armstrong