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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Young Cong leaders ask seniors to introspect their role

PTI  New Delhi, September 03, 2014
First Published: 23:05 IST(3/9/2014) | Last Updated: 23:08 IST(3/9/2014)

Coming out against the old guard and in support of Rahul Gandhi, a group of young Congress leaders have decided to write to senior leaders against damaging the party's image and making controversial statements outside party fora.

The young leaders, more than 15 of them AICC Secretaries will write to the old guard, including senior general secretaries not to do anything that damaged the  party and its leadership.

The move comes days after party general secretaries Janardan Dwivedi and Digvijay Singh had made remarks that included prescribing an age limit for holding active posts and concluding that Rahul Gandhi should be seen more active in politics, which the young leaders feel have damage the party's interests and image.

In the letters, which will be sent to all general secretaries and senior leaders tomorrow or the day after, the young leaders will ask them not to attack the leadership and make controversial statements in media.

The contents of the letter were finalized in a meeting of AICC Secretaries held today in the party headquarters, sources said.

This is the first time that the Secretaries in the AICC will be writing to their bosses, the general secretaries, disagreeing with the viewpoints expressed by some of them.

Firing the first salvo, AICC Secretary Prakash Joshi, picked up by Rahul, told PTI "all those leaders giving public statements should first introspect how far they discharged the responsibility that was given to them".

He said "what is wrong if Rahulji wants to involve the voice of workers in decision making. We are fully with him even if he has to take some hard measures".

Last night a group of secretaries were huddled in a meeting outside AICC office to discuss the controversial remarks made by a number of party leaders ever since the worst-ever poll debacle of Congress in the general elections.

The party has already officially distanced itself from remarks of the two senior general secretaries regarding fixing an age bar for leaders for taking up active posts and about Rahul Gandhi not communicating enough during the Lok Sabha polls.

Former minister Kishore Chandra Deo had reportedly said that Rahul Gandhi's ideas backfired in the Lok Sabha polls. He had also recently said the A K Antony Committee should have analysed the role of Rahul Gandhi in the elections.

Former Congress Working Committee member Jagmeet Brar was recently fired by the party over his remarks against the leadership. Party sources have indicated that a young leadership is poised to take over the reins of AICC affairs after its restructuring exercise after Lok Sabha debacle.

"Some senior leaders are giving one after other statement after the Lok Sabha polls. That is not fair. All these leaders were part of the decision-making. They should say whatever they have to say in the party forum.

"The Antony Committee was such a forum. They should have spoken all these things there. What is their interest in saying all these things publicly now? They were holding the charge of states for years. How can they not be responsible if the party has no organization in the state and put the blame on Rahul Gandhi for everything," another young AICC secretary, who participated in the meeting said.

The meeting also saw some of the Secretaries criticising former MP Milind Deora, who had in his tweets questioned the role of Rahul Gandhi?s advisors as well as "those who take the advice? has come under fire from party leaders."  

The dominant view in the meeting of the AICC Secretaries was "not to take lying down attacks on Rahul Gandhi" and be prepared for "tough decisions".

The assertion by the Rahul Team has come at a time when a reshuffle of the AICC is on the cards.

Dismissing contentions that the leadership of Rahul Gandhi has come under doubt amid an apparent tug of war within the party, Congress spokesperson Shoha Oza said from the party podium that that the Congress Vice President is the "leadership" for future and that partymen will work under him.


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