The anointment of the 42-year-old leader nine years after he entered politics was formalised at the meeting of the party's highest policy making body, the Congress Working Committee (CWC), which unanimously adopted a resolution for this moved by Defence Minister A K Antony.
The decision ends prolonged speculation about a bigger role for Rahul, so far one of the 11 general secretaries of the Congress. The speculation focussed on the possibility of his being made Working President or Secretary General of the party.
It was clear that the party has stopped short of naming Rahul either as its face in the 2014 polls or as its Prime Ministerial candidate, obviously, giving itself time to see how the political scenario pans out in the run up to the polls.
Janardhan Dwivedi, chief spokesperson of the party, who made the much-awaited announcement, told reporters as to what will be Rahul's role in the next election or whether he will lead the election campaign will be decided later.