Hyderabad: Sonia Gandhi's role in the Congress will remain "undiminished" even after Rahul Gandhi's elevation as party president and she will continue to guide it, senior party leader M Veerappa Moily said on Thursday.
Moily said the Congress would take "aggressive and sustained steps" to ensure that Rahul becomes the prime minister in 2019, asserting that "he has matured enough to take over not only the reins of the party but also of the government at the Centre".
A change in the leadership will change everything in the party, he admitted but added that Rahul will "consider both the wisdom and also the youthful vigour" of its leaders.
"We all wish that he will take over the reins of prime ministership in 2019. For that, whatever the steps... aggressive steps, sustained steps will have to be taken, they will be taken in the party," Moily told PTI.
The former Union minister said Rahul will not only be projected as the party's prime ministerial candidate in the next Lok Sabha elections: "He will be the prime minister in 2019".
Asked to share his thoughts on the "legacy" of Sonia, who is set to relinquish the position of Congress president which she held for 19 years, Moily said, "Don't forget that she is a mother and she is a mother to the party also."
"Her role is undiminished and she will always be with the Congress and give guidance to all of us," he said.
Rahul is already articulating a "politician's vision" and "people are looking forward with a lot of aspirations", the former chief minister of Karnataka said.
"He (Rahul) is quite grown all these years and (an) experienced parliamentarian. He has been very much trained, (is) quite a transparent leader and at the same time, very dynamic," Moily said.
The Congress leader said Rahul's elevation was very much needed. "Right time he is taking over," he said.
"In the process of experience, he has matured enough to take over not only the reins of the party but also reins of the government at the Centre," the Congress leader said.
On how "dynamics" will change under Rahul's leadership, Moily said, "Definitely. When there is a change in the leadership... down below, everything will change. He will consider both the wisdom and also the youthful vigour of the party."
"There is no old and young guard. Everybody is important in the party and he enjoys confidence among all the cadre, the old, or new and or middle," he said, when asked about "what happens" to the old guard in the party once Rahul takes over.
According to him, the immediate priority of the Congress is the Gujarat elections. Under Rahul's leadership, the Congress is doing very well in the poll-bound western state, he said.
"We are consolidating the party... all the caste combinations and everything has been successful now. I think the Congress' prospects are looking very well in Gujarat. That's the first thing to do," Moily said.
Rahul, 47, looks set to take over the reins of the party from his mother on 5 December, days ahead of the crucial Gujarat Assembly polls, with the Congress Working Committee (CWC) approving the schedule for the party president's election.
The CWC, the party's highest decision-making body, met on Monday and approved the schedule for the much-awaited election to the top party post, which has been occupied by Sonia for a record 19 years since 1998, when she replaced Sitaram Kesri.
Updated Date: Nov 23, 2017 18:21:10 IST