Congress youth seek bigger role for Rahul Gandhi



Jaipur: Over 130 Youth Congress and NSUI leaders at the Congress' strategy session here Saturday demanded a bigger role for the party's de facto number two Rahul Gandhi, who is expected to lead the party in the 2014 general elections.

Noting that Rahul was heading the party's poll coordination panel, party MP from Lakshadweep, Hamdulla Saeed, told IANS: "We want to see him (Rahul) lead in all spheres."

Asked, however, whether he would like Rahul Gandhi to be seen as the party's prime ministerial candidate, Saeed said that was a matter the elected MPs and party chief Sonia Gandhi would decide.

Pawan Godara, who heads the Youth Congress in Rajasthan, and is a delegate at the party's chintan shivir or introspection camp, said young leaders wanted Rahul to lead the party in the next general elections.

"Rahul Gandhi has given people like me with no political background an opportunity. He should play a bigger role now, and the seniors should guide us," Godara said.

Rahul shared the stage Friday with his mother and party chief Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other senior Congress leaders.

He will address the All India Congress Committee (AICC) session Jan 20.

It is also because of the 42-year-old Gandhi that the conclave at Jaipur has seen such a large contingent from the Youth Congress and the party's student wing, National Students' Union of India.

PTI