About 48 hours after the extended Congress Working Committee proposed Rahul Gandhi as the face in 2019 to take on Narendra Modi, top sources in the party suggest their president Rahul Gandhi is okay to accept a Mamata Banerjee or Mayawati as the prime ministerial candidate of a grand opposition alliance or even the next Prime Minister in the scenario of the BJP falling short of a majority on its own,

This year during the Karnataka election campaign, Gandhi had said if Congress became the single largest party, he will become the Prime Minister. Seems much water has flown in the Ganges and the Cauvery in between for the Congress president to climb down to this latest stand.

In what can be construed as an admission of defeat, sources in the Congress suggest its aim is to restrict the BJP to 220-230 seats. The leadership of the oldest party wants to cobble up an alliance in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Bengal by hook or by crook to ensure Modi juggernaut is restricted within 220 seats. Congress is hopeful that the Mahagatbandhan can form the next government in such a scenario. 

Sources in the Congress also indicate that the Rafale deal will be the focal point of the Congress’s attack in the remainder of this monsoon session of Parliament (MyNation carried a report on 24 July that said that the Modi government's deal with France makes the fighter aircraft cheaper by Rs 59 crore per unit than what the Manmohan Singh government had settled for).

The source adds that the Congress will up the ante both inside and outside Parliament over the supposed secrecy clause of the Rafale deal. 

But will the Congress see Priyanka Gandhi actively leading the party in 2019 along with her brother? Highly placed sources say, none less that Rahul Gandhi himself requested her to take active participation in politics. However, on her part, Priyanka has made it abundantly clear that her family commitments come ahead of politics.

MyNation has reliably learnt that in the next four or five months there will be another major organisational change in the Congress at the national level. Just last week, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) was reconstituted with a clear Rahul imprint on it.

With less than a year left for the general election, the million dollar question many are asking even within the Congress is whether the acceptance of Mamata Banerjee or Mayawati as Prime Minister an acceptance of defeat or sheer pragmatism in a new political world where the oldest party of the country is no longer the big brother.