Senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily on Thursday said Sonia Gandhi’s role in the party over the last 19 years will remain undiminished, and she will continue to guide the Congress even after Rahul Gandhi takes over as party president, PTI reported.

“Don’t forget that she is a mother, and she is a mother to the party also,” Moily said. “Her role will be undiminished, and she will always be with the Congress and give guidance to all of us.”

The former Union minister said the Congress will take “aggressive and sustained steps” to ensure that the party wins the Lok Sabha elections in 2019, and that Rahul Gandhi becomes the prime minister. Moily said the Congress vice president had become mature enough to not only lead the party but also to take over the government at the Centre.

“He has been very much trained, is quite a transparent leader and at the same time, very dynamic,” he said. “When there is a change in the leadership...down below, every thing will change. He will consider both the wisdom and also the youthful vigour of the party.”

Moily claimed that the Congress’ prospects were looking well in Gujarat, where the Assembly elections will be held in two phases on December 8 and December 14.

His comments come days after the Congress announced the schedule to elect its new party president. Voting for the party’s presidential poll will take place on December 16, and the ballots will be counted on December 19. Rahul Gandhi is expected to be the only candidate in the fray.

Sonia Gandhi has been the party’s longest-serving president and has led it to two consecutive general election victories, in 2004 and 2009.