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Three options for Congress on Rahul issue

New Delhi, Jan 16 (): Congress has three options regarding Rahul Gandhi’s position in the forthcoming polls. As the AICC session scheduled to be held here tomorrow, the Congress leadership is still divided on making 43-year old vice-president Rahul Gandhi as the PM candidate.

Senior leaders who met today for a core group meeting saw a split to discuss about Rahul’s role. One option is to make Rahul the PM candidate, second to make him working president and third to make him chief campaigner.

Sources said the State leaders are under pressure from workers that the cadres can be galvanized only by putting Rahul as PM candidate. The rout in recent polls has demoralized workers. Seniors feel that this is an emotional reaction and politically not right.

Pitting Rahul in personality clash with Modi will cost the party heavily and dent Rahul’s image. The way to satisfy workers and leaders is to announce Rahul as leader and chief campaigner for the 2014 general elections. It is well-known that the chief campaigner will become PM if the party and allies gain the majority. The only exception is Sonia Gandhi who opted for UPA chairperson.

Rahul told the core group meeting that it would be better that elected MPs choose the PM since declaring beforehand will be seen as undemocratic and termed as dynasty rule. Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting is to meet today evening to finalize the agenda and resolutions for AICC.

Digvijay Singh, the Congress general secretary got support on his view that Congress does not name a PM candidate before polls. Grassroot workers say voters will vote only if Congress puts up a face. Another section feels that Sonia as PM candidate can change the party fortunes for the good.

Congress has begun talks with possible allies. AK Antony held talks with Lalu Prasad Yadav to discuss poll alliance in Bihar. As Lok Janshakti Party is negotiating with chief minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), Congress has not approached him.