A spokesman says the heir to India's Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty will lead the ruling Congress party's campaign for the national election in May.

But Janardhan Dwivedi, a spokesman for the Congress party, said late Thursday that the party leadership will not formally name Rahul Gandhi as a candidate for prime minister.

The move is a political maneuver as the battered party tries to regroup after a string of corruption scandals, internal feuding and a stumbling economy. Observers say it's a way to avoid having voters see Gandhi as a scapegoat for all of Congress' problems.

But if Congress does indeed win the polls, it's widely expected that the party will name Gandhi prime minister.