rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » Could Rahul's entry weaken PM's clout in govt?

Could Rahul's entry weaken PM's clout in govt?

Last updated on: July 26, 2012 10:58 IST

Could Rahul's entry weaken PM's clout in govt?

     Next

Next
Renu Mittal

Even as speculation has intensified on what would be the contours of Rahul Gandhi's bigger role in the days to come, the young leader has sent the first message that he is ready to assert himself and would be more hands on in the days ahead.

For the first time, young ministers known to be close to Rahul have been drafted for party work and made members of the just-announced screening committees for the states of Himachal Pradesh, Tripura and Gujarat -- the three states going to the polls at the end of the year. 

And the fact that the screening committees, which select candidates and make a final shortlist before the names go to the central election committee, have been announced in July is a new development in the Congress party and a sign that Rahul has had his way in the early selection of candidates.

Jitendra Singh, who is an MP from Rajasthan and Minister of State for Home, has been made a member of the screening committee for Himachal Pradesh, MoS-Roads and Surface Transport Jitin Prasad is a member for the screening committee of Tripura and MOS-Petroleum R P N Singh is a member of the screening committee for Gujarat.

Click on NEXT to read further...




     Next

Could Rahul's entry weaken PM's clout in govt?

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The normal practice was for party President Sonia Gandhi to rotate the same faces, many of whom have never contested or even won elections in their life. But in the present scenario, all three are Lok Sabha MPs.

Even while appointing the chairmen of the screening committees -- Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit for Himachal Pradesh, Tarun Gogoi for Tripura and C P Joshi for Gujarat -- there is an attempt to bring in experienced chief ministers who have won the states repeatedly and not let ani-incumbency overwhelm them.

Dixit is in her third term as Delhi chief minister while Gogoi won Assam twice with an increased margin.

Sources say in the case of Union Minister C P Joshi, considered to be close to Rahul, the message appears to be that the latter himself would be handling the Gujarat election where the party feels it is on a better wicket than earlier and is looking at a real time chance to defeat Narendra Modi.

Gujarat leaders feel it is crucial not to err in the selection of tickets and while the state leadership cannot match up to the image and stature of Modi, Rahul is expected to play a bigger role in the Gujarat election.

Click on NEXT to read further...




Prev     Next

Could Rahul's entry weaken PM's clout in govt?

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Party leaders say that Rahul will continue to keep one foot in the party and more of this is likely to be seen when the AICC reshuffle takes place where the emphasis and selection would be on younger leaders, prominent caste representatives and those who have been identified as performers.

There is also speculation that Rahul would be joining the government as a Union minister.

This has led to fears in certain quarters that the arrival of a Gandhi in the Cabinet would further undermine the authority of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

He could become an alternate power centre with every minister looking to him for approval and making moves to ensure closeness to the man, who is seen as the future prime minister of India.

As one party leader commented: "Look at a situation where Rahul is in a cabinet meeting. Would anyone listen to the prime minister?"

That, insiders say, is a real danger where governance can be further hit.

Click on NEXT to read further...




Prev     Next

Could Rahul's entry weaken PM's clout in govt?

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The Congress is already at a premium with the government having lost its chief troubleshooter to Rashtrapati Bhawan, where a senior ally is flexing his muscles and is likely to continue this (on and off) till the next election, where the prime minister does not want to give up finance portfolio that Sonia wants to give to Home Minister P Chidambaram, where the growth rate is down, where there is monsoon deficit, where prices of essential commodities are shooting through the roof, where the government is hammered by various elements on the issues of corruption and where there is an overall policy paralysis and a sense of status quo.

The impression is that while it makes no difference whether the prime minister holds the finance portfolio or Chidambaram does, since both have nothing new to offer, what would be significant is whether Rahul's arrival in the government would mark any critical changes in its overall functioning?

Rahul has been in active politics since the last few years but has kept a low profile, preferring not to meddle in matters which do not concern him.

As far as a role in the government is concerned, he is being seen as an apprentice who would like to learn that ropes of administration and the nitty-gritty of government functioning.

Would he assert himself in such a situation? Could he be an asset to a prime minister, who has a limited role to play in his own government? These are questions still being debated as the Gandhi family continues to be withdrawn and allowing the speculation to go on but not offering any real answers.

Click on NEXT to go further...




Prev     Next

Top PHOTO features of the week

Prev     More

Click on MORE to see another set of PHOTO features...



Tags: PHOTO , MORE

Prev     More