Amarinder bats for young leader as Rahul's successor

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh (PTI Photo)

Chief Minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh on Saturday pitched for a young leader as the next Congress president even as the names of veterans Sushilkumar Shinde and Mallikarjun Kharge were being talked about as Rahul Gandhi's successors.

Amarinder took to Twitter to put across his views, days before the Congress Working Committee (CWC) is set to meet to decide on the future course of action in the wake of Rahul quitting as Congress president accepting “full responsibility” for the defeat in the Lok Sabha elections.

“After the unfortunate decision of Rahul Gandhi to quit, hope to see another dynamic youth leader as Congress president to galvanise the party,” he said.

“Urge CWC to take note of young India’s need for a young leader, aligned to aspirations of its large youth population & with grassroots connect,” Amarinder said, urging the party to reflect on societal reality and pointed out that 65% of the country's population was below 35 years of age.

On May 25, 49-year-old Rahul had told the CWC his intention to quit as Congress president owning responsibility for the party's disastrous performance in the Lok Sabha elections.

Earlier this week, Rahul issued a four-page statement making his resignation official and asked the Congress to set in motion the exercise to select his successor.

Since his resignation on Wednesday, Congress leaders have had mixed reactions, with a section supporting his decision to quit and others demanding that Rahul to continue in the top party post.

“Rahul ji’s resignation letter is unfortunate. We all are accountable for this defeat. He has, in a short span, already made a tremendous contribution in strengthening the party and we all believe his endeavour should continue. He is and will remain my leader, our leader and will continue to provide solid strength for the Congress,” Congress Treasurer Ahmed Patel had said soon after Rahul's resignation.

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