Rahul Gandhi next Congress chief?

By Reuters Staff
November 5, 2011

Rahul Gandhi is set to become the next Congress party chief within a few weeks, The Economic Times reported on Saturday. The report said several party leaders, including a cabinet minister, had confirmed the handover is likely in “four to eight weeks”.

After Rahul takes over, Sonia Gandhi will restrict her role to giving broad directions to the party and government, the report added.

The Nehru-Gandhi family political dynasty has no other equivalent in the world, combining the birthright of royalty with the tragic glamour of the Kennedy clan. A member of the family has been in charge of India for more than two-thirds of the period since independence from Britain in 1947.

But Rahul Gandhi’s apparent ascendancy, and uncertain leadership qualities, has raised questions about whether a family political dynasty is compatible with a modern democracy. In September, Reuters interviewed Congress party officials and family friends, some of whom have talked to the media for the first time. They revealed deep concerns about the future of the Gandhi dynasty.

Rahul’s taking over as Congress president, if and when it happens, will come at a time when the government is battling high inflation, corruption scandals and slowing growth. Is this the right move for the ruling Congress?

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