Seniors make way for GenNext leaders

The emergence of generation-next leaders in the Congress and the BJP has pushed several veterans to the fringes. So impatient are the new leaders, be it Rahul Gandhi of the Congress or Narendra Modi of the BJP, that their actions are touching many a raw nerve.

Congress’ Janardan Dwivedi, Ambika Soni and Mohsina Kidwai are among the leaders who have a feeling of not being in the thick of things within the party.

Over the years, Dwivedi had developed a good rapport with Congress president Sonia Gandhi. However, he was replaced from the post of Chairman of the AICC’s Media Department by a younger Ajay Maken when Rahul gained prominence in the party.

Soni was once the political secretary to the Congress president, only to be edged out by Ahmed Patel. In the organisational reshuffle last year, Soni made a come back as in-charge of the Congress president’s office, but at a time when Sonia was promoting son Rahul.
AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh, once considered close to Rahul, also appears to have fallen out of favour after the party’s poor performance in Uttar Pradesh, where he was in-charge. The Congress also fared poorly in his home state of Madhya Pradesh in last year’s Assembly elections.

The new order in the Congress revolves around Rahul and his team comprising Jitendra Singh, Milind Deora, Sachin Pilot, Jyotiraditya Scindia among the younger lot and Gurudas Kamat, C P Joshi, Madhusudan Mistry among the seniors.

A senior Congress leader appeared to justify the disenchantment among some leaders contending that nerves do get frayed when ever there is transition of power within any organisation. The leader pointed out that senior partymen Sharad Pawar, Tariq Anwar and P A Sangma had walked out of the Congress when Sonia took the reins of the organisation after ousting Sitaram Kesri.

Similar is the condition of some veterans in the BJP, where Modi has assumed larger than life proportions. Many veiled suggestions have been made to Advani to opt out of the Lok Sabha elections but the former Deputy prime minister has turned a deaf ear.

Former Union minister Murli Manohar Joshi has also been asked to change his constituency from Varanasi to Kanpur as Modi is keen on contesting from the famous temple town.

Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, too, is resisting the Modi juggernaut by asserting her views strongly on various issues ranging from alliance to selection of candidates. Senior leaders Yashwant Sinha and Jaswant Singh also appear set to take a final walk.

In the Shiv Sena, an NDA ally, Uddhav Thackeray has taken the reins of the party founded by father Bal Thackeray. Here, too, the young leadership has been given preference over old warhorses.  The Sena has denied poll ticket to former Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi and fielded a new face in Rahul Shewale from his pocketborough of Mumbai South Central.

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