Congress leader for GenNext

Congress leader for GenNext

Two days after BJP veterans Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were dropped from the party’s Parliamentary Board, senior Congress leader Janardan Dwivedi on Thursday made a strong pitch for generational change in his party, saying leaders should not continue holding “active posts” after crossing 70 years.

Suggesting that 65 or 70 should be the age for the leaders to go out of active posts in party and take up “other roles”, he said that he personally believed that young leaders should hold the active posts in Congress now. 

The Congress leader, however, made it clear that his suggestion does not apply in the case of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

“I am not saying that they should retire, but the posts which require a lot of running around and physical capacity should be held by people younger. There are other responsibilities which elder leaders can take up but they should keep away from active posts,” he told reporters.

Certain limits

His remarks came when he was asked for his views on the BJP’s decision to drop Vajpayee, Advani and Joshi from the party’s highest decision making body and nominate them to a “Margdarshak Mandal” (advisory group).

“Whatever the BJP has done, why and with whom they have done it is their politics and nobody should be commenting on the affairs of other parties beyond certain limits. Whatever has to be said on the issue has already been said by the Congress, but I can give my personal opinion. I have been of this view for a long time that there should be a timeline for people in public life as it is in other walks of life,” Dwivedi, who himself will turn 69 next month, said.

When asked if his suggestion applies for 67-year-old Sonia Gandhi too, the Congress leader said: “The post of Congress president has been an exception in many respects.

There is a resolution of the Congress Working Committee that no leader should hold two posts but the Congress president and prime minister have been kept off it.”

Dwivedi’s suggestions comes at a time when there have been intense speculations that leaders of older generation could now be replaced by younger ones in the All India Congress Committee to rejuvenate the party.

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