Time for Rahul to assume bigger role, says Digvijay
New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) In an indication that Rahul Gandhi could assume a bigger role in the party by September in preparation for 2014 general elections, Congress leader Digvijay Singh said Monday that time has come for Gandhi to go beyond his present engagements in the party's frontal organisations.
Digvijay Singh, who has worked closely with Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh, said the party was hoping for a greater role for the young leader beyond his present assignments as in-charge of Youth Congress and National Students Union of India.
His remarks assume significance as they came on a day he met Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
"Yes, (that is) what are we hoping for. Time has come for a larger role... He has been confining himself to student wing and Youth Congress. (He should) come to the mainstream now," Digvijay Singh told reporters here.
Asked about his remarks in interviews that the new role for the young leader could come by September, Digvijay Singh said that elections to the posts of the president and the vice-president would be over by then.
The decision about contours of larger role would be taken by Gandhi and his mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, he added.
Answering a query, Singh said Sonia Gandhi will lead the party in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, but there is general feeling in the party that Rahul Gandhi should play a bigger role.
"Congress workers want to see (him in) a more active role in the mainstream of the party," he said.
Digvijay Singh lauded Rahul Gandhi's contribution in "democratising" Youth Congrss and NSUI.
Disgreeing with criticism that Nehru-Gandhi family scion's campaign did not shore up Congress preformance in assembly elections of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Digvijay Singh said there was no such thing as "Rahul factor".
He said it was the duty of state Congress leadership to convert support mobilised by Rahul Gandhi into votes.
Rahul Gandhi had led the party's poll effort in the polls held in Uttar Pradesh this year, but the party ended a distant fourth, only winning 28 of the 403 seats in the state.
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