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Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has given "excellent hope" for the party to make a comeback in poll-bound Gujarat through his leadership, senior leader M Veerappa Moily said. Moily, however, was not sure whether Gandhi would take over as the Congress president before the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections, scheduled on November 9. "That can't be said, there is a process, you know," he said. The former Union minister expressed confidence that Gandhi would be the "face of the country" in 2019 and become prime minister. On the Congress's prospects in the upcoming elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, he said his party would definitely return to power in the western state, and that he sees "no problems". "As far as Gujarat is concerned, Rahulji has undertaken a very intense tour there," Moily told PTI. "Originally it (Gujarat) was a Congress state (before BJP came to power), but now I think the Congress will repeat its success definitely with greater vigour because we have the chances and Rahulji has, in particular, given excellent hope and leadership in Gujarat. The Congress will come back in both the states," he said. The Congress leader said the organisational elections are in the "final stages". Asked if there will be contenders against Rahul Gandhi for the party president's post, Moily said, "It's not an answer I should give you. He (Rahul Gandhi) will be the president." "Things (under Rahul Gandhi as Congress president) will change radically; he will give a new face. He has enough experience in the party as also in government. He will be the real face of the country in 2019 and come back as prime minister," Moily said. On the view that the Congress is facing an "existential crisis", he said the party's opponents have been putting forth such arguments for a long time now. "We are not bothered about it.
The Congress always emerges back; whenever people can think that they can finish it off, the Congress always emerges successfully. There is no problem," he said. Moily had hinted in September that Rahul Gandhi may assume charge as party president this month. "Everybody (in the Congress) feels it is (his elevation) delayed. Now, he (Rahul) is waiting for the organisational elections. He would like to emerge as the president of All India Congress Committee (AICC) only out of the election process," he had said last month.
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