Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi may take over as president soon after Diwali, party leader Sachin Pilot said on Sunday. The general sentiment in the Congress is that it is time for Gandhi to take charge and lead from the front, Pilot said in an interview to PTI.

The party leader from Rajasthan said Gandhi had been handling “a lot of work” as vice president, and that his elevation had been in the pipeline for long.

On the Bharatiya Janata Party’s criticism that the Congress is based on the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, Pilot said several people in that party, too. were from political families.

“Belonging to a family that has been in politics should not be treated as a disqualification,” he said, adding that ultimately, success depends on performance. Pilot is himself the son of the deceased former Union minister and Congress leader Rajesh Pilot.

During his address at the University of California in Berkley on September 12, Gandhi had brushed off a remark about being a dynast and said he was “absolutely ready” to take up an executive responsibility if the party asked him to do so. His mother Sonia Gandhi has been the party’s longest-serving president, having been in the role since 1998.

On September 15, another senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily had said Rahul Gandhi would like to emerge as the party president through an internal election process, and that he might take charge in early October.