New Delhi, Oct 30: Amid strong indications that Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi would assume a more prominent role in the party, a senior leader Tuesday said that an organisational reshuffle was due and would take place when the plan was ready.
“Something is due. It may happen when things are ready,” Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters.
But Dwivedi said he was not aware of any specific time or date for the event.
According to Dwivedi, Rahul Gandhi was already the number two in the party after Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
“He is number two in the party. His place is after the Congress president. There is no ambiguity about that,” he said.
The speculation about an All India Congress Committee (AICC) reshuffle and Rahul Gandhi’s upgrade gained ground after he chose not to join the Manmohan Singh government in the Sunday’s cabinet rejig.
Sources said Rahul Gandhi, who is expected to lead the party in the slew of assembly polls in 2013 and the general elections in 2014, could be made the party vice president or working president.
Congress sources had indicated the AICC reshuffle could happen before Diwali, which falls on Nov 13.
While a section of the Congress leaders said it could happen this week, others were of the view that the changeover may take place after the Nov 4 rally in Delhi, to be addressed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
Besides senior AICC leaders, central ministers, chief ministers, MPs and party’s state unit chiefs are expected to attend the rally in a show of strength.
While Rahul Gandhi played a key role in finalising the list of 22 ministers, who were sworn in Sunday, he is expected to give important roles to his close aides including party MPs Ashok Tanwar, Meenakshi Natarajan and Manicka Tagore.
Rahul Gandhi’s imprint was clearly visible in the cabinet rejig in which Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot, Jitendra Singh and Manish Tewari were given independent charge of ministries.
Congress sources said new faces in important organisational positions would convey the message that the party was prepared to face future challenges.
While former union minister S.M. Krishna is set to play an important role in Karnataka, which will have assembly elections in May 2013, another former minister, Ambika Soni, is expected to be drafted for party work.
According to party sources, the blueprint for the AICC reshuffle has been prepared.
The Congress chief will decide the timing to announce it, said the sources.
Together with the new-look cabinet, which brought in a mix of youth and experience, the AICC reshuffle is expected to ready a new team which will take on the challenges of nine assembly elections in 2013 culminating in the big electoral battle of the 2014 general elections.