Rahul to open mega Youth Congress show in Delhi

Rahul Gandhi will inaugurate a national level convention of the newly-elected office bearers of the Indian Youth Congress in Delhi on Monday.

New Delhi: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi will inaugurate a national level convention of the newly-elected office bearers of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) here on Monday. It will be the first such gathering under his charge, organisation sources said.

The two-day conference, named `Buniyaad` (foundation), will be held at Japanese Park in Rohini area of northwest Delhi. It will be attended by about 7,000 leaders from the local, state and national levels, sources added.

The conference comes amid speculation that the Gandhi scion will soon be given a larger role in the party to help party president and his mother Sonia Gandhi, who underwent a surgery abroad in August for an undisclosed illness.

Rahul Gandhi is at present the party general secretary in charge of the Youth Congress and National Students Union of India (NSUI).

According to a IYC leader, the registration of the IYC delegates for the conference will begin Sunday evening.

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, other party office-bearers and senior ministers will also attend the meet, he said, though the programme schedule is not yet announced.

An invitation has been sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too, though his participation has not been confirmed yet, he added.

According to another IYC leader, senior ministers like Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, Law Minister Salman Khurshid and Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Sonia will explain the policies and programmes of their respective ministries so that the youth leaders could propagate it among the masses.

Several young ministers belonging to the `Rahul brigade` like Sachin Pilot, CPN Singh, Jitendra Singh, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Milind Deora will also attend the two-day meet.

Elaborate arrangements, including tents for the stay of delegates, have been made at the park. It is not yet clear whether Rahul Gandhi will stay at the camp.

Political observers view Buniyaad as a show of Gandhi`s four-year work as in charge of the youth wing, during which the IYC` membership crossed 10 million. The identity details of all the members have been documented with photograph, age proof and other information, a leader said.

As part of the drive to attract new members, Rahul Gandhi had travelled to colleges and universities across the country.

The organisation had said that "a new training regime will ensure that each and every member will be empowered and also helped to bring in new levels of professionalism".

IYC sources said the organisation has been able to complete elections in 20 major states already. Elections in other states are expected to be over by next month.

"Completing relatively free and fair elections in such a big organisation has been an achievement. A new generation of leaders has been brought to the fore by Rahulji," a senior Congress leader, who did not want to be identified, said.


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