In what can be considered as a path-breaking decision in the history of the Congress party, and more specifically the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi could well be made the chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, something which could possibly be a sort of demotion for Rahul — who was once the prospective prime ministerial candidate.
The Amethi MP was quick to react on the developments. "Mujhe kya pata, aap hi log chalaate ho, aap hi log jaano (How do I know? you people run these stories, so you people might be knowing)," ANI quoted him as saying when asked if he or Priyanka Gandhi would be UP CM candidate.
According to a report in the DNA, the idea has been pitched by Congress' election strategist Prashant Kishor, who believes that only bringing Rahul or his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra can help the party improve its seat tally, which has been reeling in the 20s in recent polls.
Prashant Kishor's election campaigns have generally been around personalities and he believes that projecting a face could help galvanise the party workers, says another report in DNA.
If the Gandhi scion refuses to be the candidate, then sister Priyanka may be made the face of the party. However, if both back out, former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit may well be made the chief ministerial candidate, reported India Today.
The same report also said that Rahul has seen the proposal and has asked for a few days time to think over the offer. Meanwhile, many state Congress leaders are skeptical about projecting a face in the upcoming elections.
Prashant Kishor was one of the key men who helped Prime Minister Narendra Modi win the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. He was instrumental in organising the "Chai Pe Charcha" campaigns across India and utilised social media to promote the former Gujarat CM.
This might be in line with the party's attempts to reinvent itself, something which may help the Congress ride back to power in 2019.
Updated Date: May 02, 2016 16:53 PM