In a move that buttresses the view that he may not join the government at the Centre at this juncture,Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi has opted to become a member of the parliamentary standing committee on finance.
Until now a member of the standing committee on HRD,Rahuls shift to the finance committee is being seen as a step at familiarising himself with critical areas in governance.
Rahul is seen as the prime ministerial candidate of the Congress in the future,something senior party leaders openly endorse. There had been a feeling that he could join Prime Minister Manmohan Singhs Cabinet as a minister to gain administrative experience before being prepared for the top job.
However,party managers now concede that this seems unlikely,not only because of his desire to become a member of the finance standing committee but also due to the current political situation. Rahuls move though has triggered a race among many party MPs to be in the same committee.
Rahul began with membership of the committee on Home Affairs in 2004 and moved to HRD after two years. He did take active interest in proceedings,members contend,whenever he attended the meetings,and made interventions on important legislation that were discussed by the committees.
The terms of the department related standing committees expired on August 31,but reconstitution got delayed as parties took time in sending names. The new committees are expected to be announced on Friday.