Here is the to-do list for Rahul Gandhi as Congress president before he thinks of 2019 polls
Winning election to Congress president's post was an easy affair for Rahul Gandhi. But, he has a tough road ahead.
Rahul Gandhi was today declared as Congress president-elect uncontested.
He will take charge as Congress president from mother Sonia Gandhi on December 16 - two days after polling gets over in Gujarat and two days before results are declared.
As Rahul Gandhi prepares to get his stamp on Congress's decisions, here is a to-do list for the soon-to-be president of the 132-year-old party:
Restructure organisation, build a core team.
It is easier said than done for Rahul Gandhi. He has more leaders and less cadre - a really that goes in sharp contrast to the BJP, Congress's primarily rival. Rahul Gandhi will also have to manage resistance from the old guard.
Promote strong leaders in states who can motivate grassroot workers for 2019 challenge, and end factional fights in other big states.
Rahul Gandhi is pressed for time. He does not have much time on hand but there are huge expectations. Rahul Gandhi has only 18 months to take the Congress organisation to a position where he can think of taking on the well oiled election winning machine of Amit Shah and Narendra Modi.
Prepare for elections next year in four big states - Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
Rahul Gandhi has to contain infighting. The state Congress leaderships in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Rajasthan are known to fight ugly political battles in the open.
In Chhattisgarh, the Congress is still to figure out who should lead the party. Rahul Gandhi will have big challenge in projecting strong leadership in all these states.
Come across as a dependable, consistent leader, who can be seen as a credible alternative to Narendra Modi.
Though his popularity on social media is on the rise, Rahul Gandhi's decision making is still considered as tardy by many in his own Congress party. Rahul Gandhi will have to be seen taking a series of decisive actions to dispel the notion of a reluctant leader.
Be more specific about what he stands for.
Though Rahul Gandhi has consistently espoused the cause of marginalised sections such as farmers, small traders and fishermen he has failed to offer a concrete political or economic vision.
Create a working relationship with other Opposition parties to form an alliance against the BJP.
Rahul Gandhi faced severe criticism after he failed to retain Nitish Kumar of the JD-U in the Opposition camp despite the repeated attempts by the Bihar chief minister.
Later, Nitish Kumar went public saying that he had requested Rahul Gandhi to intervene when relation between the JD-U and RJD of Lalu Prasad reached the breaking point over corruption charges against the then Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav. But, Rahul Gandhi failed to take decision.
On the other hand, West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee is said to have her own prime ministerial ambitions. It will be a mammoth challenge for Rahul Gandhi to bring together Mamata Banerjee, the Left Front and the SP and the BSP under one umbrella if he has to take on the Modi phenomenon in 2019.