Rahul Gandhi to shed ‘youth’ tag?

Last Updated: Friday, November 11, 2011 - 16:06

New Delhi: The Youth Congress will hold a national meet here Nov 24-25 under Rahul Gandhi, but he may give up charge of the organisation soon after to move on to a larger role in the Congress, party sources say.

"It may be an occasion for Rahulji to bid adieu to us. He has to move ahead," a leader of the Youth Congress who did not want to be identified said.

The massive youth meet will deliberate on several topical issues like the fight against corruption and the role of the Youth Congress to back the party during crisis situations, the leader added.

"In Rahulji`s typical style, elaborate and meticulous preparations have begun. But with utmost secrecy," he said.

Though the venue of the meet has not been finalised, newly-elected Youth Congress office bearers from assembly constituency to national levels have been asked to reach Delhi Nov 24, the sources said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other leaders are likely to address the youth meet.

Rahul Gandhi, 41, who was appointed party general secretary in September 2007 with the charge of the student and youth wings - the National Students Union of India (NSUI) and the Youth Congress - has worked hard to promote the youth into leadership positions in the party and legislatures.

During the past four years, he travelled to colleges and universities across the country to urge students and youth to enter public life and join developmental activities.

But the Youth Congress that Rahul Gandhi is largely seen to have revitalised may meet under his leadership for the last time this November.

"The Youth Congress meet may mark the end of one chapter of Rahulji`s work - as the in-charge of the organisation - and the beginning of a new chapter in charge of wider political issues," the Youth Congress leader said.

The meet assumes significance as it is held during parliament`s winter session in which the party is likely to face the heat over the Lokpal bill, political observers say.

It will also come four days after senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani concludes his 38-day Jan Chetna Yatra in the national capital.

Political circles have been abuzz with talk that Rahul Gandhi, a Congress general secretary, may assume a higher role as the working president of the party.

"There is no suspense about it. He (Rahul Gandhi) has a role, which is increasing constantly. In the natural course, his role will go on increasing. This is what Congress men want and this is what in their opinion is natural," Congress chief spokesperson Janardhan Dwivedi had said here.

He said there was no doubt that Congress men wanted Rahul Gandhi`s role to increase. Dwivedi said Sonia Gandhi "is here to lead the party and she will decide what to do and when".

A number of Youth Congress and NSUI leaders, who were nominated by Rahul Gandhi, had won in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and in the assembly polls later.

Rahul Gandhi has been pressing for higher representation for the youth among Congress candidates being selected for the assembly polls in the five states of Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Goa, Punjab and Uttarakhand due next year.


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First Published: Friday, November 11, 2011 - 16:06

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