Amid growing speculation, party sources said on Monday that Rahul Gandhi may be named the Congress' prime ministerial candidate at a strategy session of the party to be held here on January 17.
"The All India Congress Committee (AICC) session will be held in Delhi on January 17," party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters.
According to party sources, a formal announcement on Rahul Gandhi as the party's prime ministerial nominee may be made during the session.
"The session is the best platform to make the announcement. Rahul Gandhi is the obvious choice of party," Congress Rajya Sabha MP Birender Singh told IANS.
Congress MP and party secretary Priya Dutt tweeted: "We wish that Rahul Gandhi is projected as our PM candidate on January 17 in AICC meet."
"This should have been announced earlier but January is also fine," said another Congress secretary who did not wish to be named.
A party legislator from Uttar Pradesh said the move "will help the party".
Party sources said the AICC session is significant as it comes just months ahead of the next general elections and just after the Congress was routed in assembly elections in four states.
After the assembly poll results, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had said: "We will name the prime ministerial candidate at an opportune moment."
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid followed her line. "We will name the party's prime ministerial candidate at an appropriate time," Khurshid said.
Another reason for excitement among Congress party leaders is that in a similar session in Jaipur in January this year, Rahul Gandhi was elevated to the post of vice president.
Party sources said the Congress also needs to make changes in the party organisation and bring in new state unit chiefs, especially in those states where the party suffered electoral losses.