Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh today made it clear that the elevation of Rahul Gandhi from vice-president post to party chief is certain but the timing of anointment will be decided by the Gandhi scion only.
The Rajya Sabha MP also said that Rahul ‘is not reluctant’ to take over as Congress president.
“He (Rahul) is not reluctant. It's a question of timing. Let him choose his own timing. In politics, timing is important. So, let the leadership decide on its own timing," the party general secretary said.
"It should happen, but we have to allow him to choose his timing," the two-time Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh said when asked if Rahul would be taking over as Congress president this year.
Reports are doing the rounds that Sonia Gandhi, the party president since 1998, will step down in favour of her son at a special All India Congress Committee session in Delhi. The session may be held in the middle November later this year
Rahul joined full time politics 12 years ago, when he successfully contested the Lok Sabha elections from Amethi. Three years ago he took charge as vice-president.
On Priyanka Gandhi joining active politics, he said that she cannot be ‘forced into active politics’, though most of the party workers want her to do so.
“Most of the Congress people want her to come into politics, and there is no doubt about it, but the actual timing has to be decided by her, not by us,” he said.
"As far as Priyanka Gandhi is concerned, she is not yet in politics...can't really force her to come into politics, it's her own personal decision and we should respect that," he added.
Asked about his remark that there was a need for a "major surgery" in Congress in the wake of disappointing results in the Assembly polls in four states earlier this year, he said there are "major challenges" in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Goa, which will go to polls next year.
"In the meantime (after he made the suggestion), Congress president fell ill...unwell. So, changes have to come, there is no doubt about it. Timing has to be decided by Congress president and vice-president. Every one feels that changes have to be made. They are long overdue. Final decision has to be taken by the Congress president," he said.
Asked if he was disappointed or frustrated that these changes are not happening at a pace he desired, Singh said there is no frustration in politics.
"One has to learn to live in difficult situations. When there are good times, there are bad times also in politics. So, we have to convert the adversity into opportunity. This is an opportunity, this is a period of adversity. We have to redraw our strategy which the Congress party is doing," he said.
On the Antony Committee report on 2014 Congress debacle, Singh said the party vice-president had wider consultations, including with state leaders.
"All that's ready, it's only a question of setting it (the report) off the ground," he added.
With PTI Inputs