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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014

Rahul Gandhi tries to allay fears of ‘old guard’

Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 23, 2013
First Published: 23:47 IST(23/1/2013) | Last Updated: 02:17 IST(24/1/2013)

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday chose to reassure the anxious ‘old guard’ that he will take them along in his quest to make the party a powerful instrument of change, providing more accessibility to youngsters as well as the experienced.

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Nervousness among party seniors over the possible generational shift in the organisational structure of the BJP had been getting increasingly palpable ever since Rahul was elevated to the number two position on January 19. However, on the day he officially assumed charge, Gandhi sought to clear the air of uncertainty. “This is the heart of the Congress party,” said Gandhi, referring to office bearers as he stepped into his office at 24, Akbar Road.

Dressed in jeans and a white kurta, the 42-year-old politician made it amply clear that strengthening the Congress across the country was one of his core priorities and, for that, he would individually meet senior leaders in coming days and hold combined interactions too.

Lauding party veterans Motilal Vora, Sheila Dikshit, Mohsina Kidwai and Ahmed Patel, he said the experience of some of the leaders was more than his age. “I will certainly draw the benefit of your experience for the good of the party,” Gandhi said. “I am fortunate to have your support and cooperation… We are one family.”

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