Rahul Gandhi's advocacy of the need to be practical for the party to keep pace with changes led to various interpretations, including reports that he favoured the Congress not being strict about abstinence, a must for new entrants.
At a meeting of the Congress Working Committee on Wednesday, in which he made his debut, Rahul talked of the necessity to be practical during discussions on changes in the party constitution when some senior leaders also spoke on the subject.
However, his remarks were interpreted as the young leader advocating drastic changes in the party constitution, which mandates certain do's and don'ts to join the organisation.
They include being a habitual wearer of khadi and keeping away from alcohol.
CWC sources said that Rahul's remarks came after senior leader Karan Singh suggested an amendment in the party constitution calling for wearing of khadi or "swadeshi" (made in India) prompting an impromptu and brief debate.
While Congress officially steered clear of reports concerning the remarks of the young leader at Wednesday's meeting, some CWC members said those were not properly interpreted.
They in fact, said a senior CWC member, advocated a fresh look at the clause concerning khadi and alcohol noting that
many in the north-east consume liquor and khadi was less used in that region.
If the 'do's and don'ts' were strictly followed, then there would be hardly any members for the party in the region, the leader, a senior minister, felt.
Leaders like Pranab Mukherjee, Digvijay Singh and Mukul Wasnik participated in the short debate, which concluded with party chief Sonia Gandhi proceeding to some other subject.