Rahul Gandhi won't be PM candidate, says Sonia Gandhi

Jan 17, 2014, 11:51 IST | Agencies

The Congress president said that it was not the party's tradition to name a nominee; Rahul Gandhi will now head the campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls

New Delhi: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi will lead the party’s 2014 poll campaign. “This meeting of CWC declares that the 2014 election campaign will be led by Rahul Gandhi,” said party spokesperson Janardan Dwivedi. The decision was taken at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Thursday evening.

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi with son Rahul Gandhi. After the CWC meeting, it was decided that Rahul would lead the party’s poll campaign. File pic

According to sources, while several CWC members were keen that Rahul be anointed the party’s prime ministerial candidate, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi intervened to say that it was not the tradition of the party to declare the candidate.

Dwivedi told reporters, “She said: ‘This is not the party’s tradition (to announce its candidate before the elections). Just because some party has declared the PM candidate, does not mean that Congress will do the same’.” Sources added that Rahul Gandhi has accepted the role given to him. He said, “I am a dedicated worker of party, whatever responsibility the party gives me, I will carry it out.”

On hearing the decision, BJP leader Maneka Gandhi launched said the Congress was a “sinking ship” that no one could save. She also said party Vice President Rahul Gandhi, also her nephew, was no match for BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

“Nobody can now save the Congress. Corruption and scams have badly tarnished the party’s image, and its leaders have constantly looted and cheated the nation all these years.” She added, “Congress is in such a situation that no one, not even Rahul Gandhi, or his sister Priyanka, can save the party.”

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