"That only strengthens our case for a 'Congress-mukt Bharat'," Goyal told reporters here this evening, when asked about reports about possible elevation of Rahul as the Congress president which have been playing through the day.

There was high speculation surrounding elevation of the 45-year-old Gandhi family scion as the Congress president, but the party dismissed any such immediate possibility even as Sonia Gandhi remained tightlipped on the issue.

Sonia, who is on a visit to her constituency Rae Bareli, was asked to comment on media reports about Congressmen wanting Rahul to take over as the president, parried a questions from the media earlier in the day.

"We are a national party. There are certain procedures... When it comes to Sonia and Rahul we all wholeheartedly accept (their leadership)... We all want Rahul to take over, as and when (it will happen), we will make a proper statement," party spokesperson Sushmita Dev told reporters.

Replying to a volley of questions on the speculation over Rahul's imminent elevation and also on the possibility of Priyanka Gandhi becoming active in UP where Assembly polls are scheduled next year, Dev said, "Speculation is the privilege of the media."

Earlier in the day, Punjab Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh had said in Chandigarh that the time is right for Rahul to take over the mantle of the party from his mother and also favoured Priyanka's entry into active politics.

"Sonia is a brilliant leader. I have said she has been working (as Congress chief) for the past 20 years. If she feels time has come to give it to a new generation, then she should pass it on and we will fully support Rahul," he said.

A section in the party feels that Sonia should continue as the party chief, while another feels that the earlier Rahul takes over the reins the better.

Leaders like Jairam Ramesh have said earlier that Rahul will be party president in 2016. Talk is that a meeting of the Congress Working Committee will be held this month to discuss threadbare the situation caused by the party's debacle in the recent Assembly polls. Holding of a 'Chintan Shivir' to brainstorm over the losses, among other things, is also being talked  bout.

Rahul was made party vice-president in January 2013 at the Jaipur Chintan Shivir. Sonia has been at the helm of the party since March 1998 and has created a record of sorts.

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