Demand for greater role of youth raised AICC meet

Demand for greater role of youth raised AICC meet

Youth was the flavour of the AICC meet today with party leaders, both young and old, seeking a greater role for young leadership to take on the emerging challenges under the guidance of Rahul Gandhi.

Senior party leader P Chidambaram said,"Of the 83 crore electorate, 68 per cent are below the age of 35 years. Of this 62 crore are below 25 years. We should pause and ponder over this reality."

Chidambaram floated a "radical idea" of giving half of the Lok Sabha tickets, 272, to candidates below 35 years of age, giving the slogan "young India, empowered India."

Young Congressman and Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said several developmental initiatives taken by the government had been "overshadowed" by the opposition's disruptive role and not focussed by the media.

Youth leader from Rajasthan, Sachin Pilot, slammed the communal forces for creating rift in the name of religion and said Congress will ensure amity and harmony and return to power under the leadership of its Vice President.

"We should not be demoralised by the loss in the recent elections and will leave no stone unturned to win the coming polls under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi," the Union Minister said.

Stating that Rahul has rejuvenated the party with his vision, Priya Dutt, MP from Mumbai North West, said "Rahulji represents the vision of the youth of the country.
This is the first government which has looked at empowering people."

She almost echoed a suggestion by P Chidambaram that the term for contesting elections should be limited to three to make way for younger generation.

Manicka Tagore, party MP from Tamil Nadu, seized the opportunity to seek an early engagement with Sri Lanka for the release of Tamil fishermen languishing in prisons there.

While Union minister Kumari Selja said her party has piloted several legislations empowering the people, her cabinet colleague Jyotiraditya Scindia said the people will recognise the work of the party in various fields and vote it back to power.

Making a fervent plea for making Rahul the party's top leader, Pramod Tewari, Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh, said while the Congress Vice President had emerged out of stalwarts like Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, "but the leader of that party (Narendra Modi) has blood of innocents on his sleeves."

Attacking BJP for spreading hatred among communities, he also charged the opposition party with having failed to prevent terror strikes during its rule at the Centre, saying "during their time, Red Fort was attacked and Parliament was also attacked."

Madhya Pradesh's new party chief Arun Yadav heaped praises on Rahul and said under his and Sonia Gandhi's leadership, the government had strived to uplift crores of people from poverty.

Others who spoke at the AICC session included Meenakshi Natarajan from Madhya Pradesh, Rakesh Baghel (Chhattisgarh), Indian Youth Congress President Rajiv Satav, Pradip Majhi from Odisha and Ragini Nayak from Delhi.

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