New Delhi, Aug 11 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday said he would welcome Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi into the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
"I have always said that I will welcome Rahul's entry (in the government)," Manmohan Singh told reporters after Vice President Hamid Ansari's oath-taking ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan.
The prime minister's remark once again brought into focus Gandhi's recent statement that he was ready for a more proactive role both in the party and the government.
Sources said a clarification to this effect could come in September when a reshuffle in the party and the cabinet was expected after the ongoing monsoon session of parliament ended.
Earlier too, the prime minister had welcomed Gandhi to join his cabinet but the young Congress leader had been reticent, indicating that rejuvenating the party was his priority.
Before the parliament's session started Aug 8, as many as 10 Congress MPs had written to party president Sonia Gandhi to make Rahul the leader of Lok Sabha.
But the slot went to Gandhi family loyalist Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, given his seniority and administrative experience.
But Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh, considered to be close to Rahul, has said he would prefer the young leader to assume a bigger role in the party.
The debate on Rahul's bigger role was triggered after Law Minister Salman Khurshid said the party had seen only cameo roles from him and that he should guide a "directionless" party ahead of the 2014 general elections.