Speculation over Rahul Gandhi's much talked about elevation as Congress chief appeared to have irked his lieutenant Sushmita Dev but she faced a volley of queries over the issue with a smile.
"We all want Rahulji to lead but when that decision is taken we will talk about it," the Congress spokesperson said after several questions were lobbed at her related to Rahul's upgrade.
Sushmita, a Lok Sabha member from Assam, is part of the Rahul brigade in the party and plays an active role in Parliament as she targets the treasury benches.
Speculation on Rahul's promotion has come amid renewed talks of an AICC brainstorming session soon to take stock of the recent poll losses in Assam and Kerala. But the party is still shying away from confirming it even as some of the veterans said they had no clue about any such plan. "We have heard about a session being planned but I have no information about it," said an AICC general secretary.
Sushmita tried to explain the party's position. "We are a national party and need to follow certain procedures as per our party constitution," she said adding that both Sonia and Rahul have provided leadership to the party through various phases. That remark seemed like an endorsement for the present arrangement, which places Sonia as the overarching head of the party while Rahul waits in the wings for the opportune moment.
Over the past couple of weeks, there have been murmurs in the party circles about an AICC session, which would see delegates from across the country endorsing a plan approved by the Congress Working Committee, naming Rahul as the new party chief.
This route appears more probable as the party's internal elections process has been put on hold and there seems to be little hope of its resumption. After the big decision, Rahul would have the authority to form his own team and chop and chisel the organisation as he deems fit to prepare it for the 2019 national elections.
Congress insiders said the recent losses in Assam and Kerala have further dampened the sentiment among the workers who want a clear cut directive from the high command and want to see it the party in battle mode.
However, quite like the grand old party, there seems to be no sense of urgency on the "surgical" options being suggested by many veterans. The rank and file too are matters of concern, said the sources.