NEW DELHI: Having successfully managed his mother's re-election campaign from Rae Bareli, the stage is now set for Rahul Gandhi, the political legatee of the Nehru- Gandhi family to claim a place in the party's hierarchy.
On Thursday, the Congress President herself left little doubt that it was only a matter of time before Rahul is entrusted with a larger role in the party.
Rahul Gandhi's credentials appeared to have been boosted significantly by the huge margin of Sonia Gandhi's victory in Rae Bareli.
Her entire re-election campaign was managed by Rahul Gandhi and even the charismatic Priyanka Gandhi deliberately took a backseat allowing her brother to manage the whole exercise.
In fact, the election in Rae Bareli was in many ways a test for Rahul Gandhi. He is being looked upon by his party, particularly those from his home state of Uttar Pradesh as the leader for the future, and in this election he had to prove that he has what it needs to lead the party in UP.
"If proof was ever needed, he has proved beyond an element of doubt that he has it in him," says AICC treasurer Moti Lal Vora.
Rahul also appears to be warming up to the task and has shed some of the diffidence that was evide`nt at the AICC Plenary in Hyderabad. He has done his homework on UP, and accepts that given the kind of role caste and religion play in the state's politics, the task is not easy.
But he also believes that the party can break through the strangle-hold. "It is not impossible and we know how to do it," he said on the campaign trail in Rae Bareli.
So far, the Congress president has merely indicated that he could be given greater responsibility. The party believes it’s time to entrust him with greater responsibility.