The U.S. Congressional report says it might just turn out to be a direct contest between the controversial Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP leader, Narendra Modi, and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for prime ministership in the 2014 elections. However, it does not clearly state it would be a Modi vs Gandhi affair.
“The 2009 polls may have represented a coming out party of sorts for the younger Gandhi, who many expect to be put forward as Congress' prime ministerial candidate in scheduled 2014 elections,” said the report. “Yet this heir-apparent remains dogged by questions about his abilities to lead the party, given a mixed record as an election strategist, uneasy style in public appearances, and reputation for gaffes,” the Congressional Research Service said.
UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi is seen to wield considerable influence over the coalition's policy-making process, it said.
“Her foreign origins have presented an obstacle and likely was a major factor in her surprising 2004 decision to decline the prime ministership,” the report said, adding that Mr. Rahul Gandhi is widely seen as the most likely heir to the Congress leadership.
“At present, the BJP president is Nitin Gadkari, a former Maharashtrian official known for his avid support of privatisation. Although still in some disorder in 2011, there are signs that the BJP has made changes necessary to be a formidable challenger .”