Cong to field 100 young candidates

The Congress is planning to field at least 100 young candidates in the upcoming Lok Sabha  elections as part of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s plans to present a younger profile of the organisation.

Sources said a significant number of young candidates could be from the Youth Congress, an organisation nurtured by Rahul ever since he was made All India Congress Committee general secretary in September 2007.

There were demands from a cross-section of leaders in the AICC meeting on Friday to give youth a prominent role in the  elections where BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has had a head start in poll campaigning.

There are indications that the youth wing of the Congress has gained strength under Rahul’s watchful gaze over the past six years and could field at least 70 candidates.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram had suggested fielding 272 candidates under the age of 35. Entrepreneur-turned-politician Sam Pitroda has also pitched for handing the reins of the party to the youth by saying, “The country needs leadership in its forties and not in sixties”.

Another leader said the party was thinking of giving the youth a chance to test electoral waters. “If the veteran candidate may lose because of anti-incumbency, then we should give the chance to a youth. It does not matter even if he loses, at least such a move would help foster new leadership,” said a young party leader.

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