'Catch them young' is the mantra at session

Young brigade: Congress MPs Sachin Pilot, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Jitin Prasada at the flag hoisting ceremony during the session near New Delhi on Sunday. PTI

“Now the time has come. Rajiv Gandhi had made me and Ahmed Patel state congress Presidents when we were 36-37 years old. Now, our expiry date is nearing. I am confident Rahul Gandhi will make his own team,” remarked senior party leader Digvijay Singh, which in effect means favouring bringing in a new generation of leadership.

The party’s political resolution also spoke on similar lines underlining that the Congress believes “it is only by including the youth in our electoral politics that we can provide India with the necessary leadership in future”.

The changes being sought in the leadership positions have come at a time when India is the youngest nation in the world with more than half of its population being below 35.

The resolution says, “It is vital that our political system is representative of the demographic profile of our nation and of the dreams and hopes of millions of young Indians.”

The remarks and the resolutions assume significance as 40-year-old Rahul is being projected as the future leader and a potential prime minister by the party.

Singh’s comment also comes at a time when Congress President Sonia Gandhi was going into the issue of re-constituting the Congress Working Committee, the apex decision making body of the party which has 23 members besides her and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

There have been suggestions from the AICC that the new CWC will have some new faces too in tune with the demographic profile of the country and taking into account the aspirations of all age groups.

A section of the party believes that the Congress President will undertake a major overhaul of the AICC secretariat following her re-election as party chief for the fourth consecutive term, making her the longest-serving Congress President.

Gandhi, in her address, also gave indications of greater representation to youth in the party. “Grand Old Party, the Congress may be but it must be more than a party of age and experience. It must also be a party of youthful energy and vitality,” she said welcoming the entry of more and more young people in the party’s ranks.

The Congress President also spoke of holding study camp like Pachmarhi and Shimla conclaves.

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