Congress on Monday virtually dismissed as “frivolous” remarks by Jairam Ramesh that time was up for party leaders above the age of 60 with Rahul Gandhi bringing a new team when he takes over as President.
“Many such statements do come, do not take them seriously,” party’s senior spokesperson Anand Sharma told reporters insisting that it was an “unauthorised” statement as it has not come from the Congress working committee. Noting that only the all powerful CWC could decide such things, he said that the party in its collective wisdom has never spoken of an age bar.
He said that decisions are taken after deep deliberations in the party and “not through frivolous communication”. In an interview, Ramesh had on Sunday said that Rahul Gandhi would bring with him a new team for Congress when he takes over as its President by March next year or even earlier, indicating that leaders above the age of 60 may only play an advisory role under the new dispensation.
While suggesting a graceful exit for leaders in the 70-plus category, the senior Congress leader emphasised that the transition process would be smooth and that Rahul will not treat seniors the way Prime Minister Narendra Modi treated his seniors in the party.
“There is (will be) no bloodbath (when Rahul takes over).I don’t think Gandhi will treat the seniors the way Modi has treated the seniors. Modi has sent (LK) Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Yashwant Sinha, Jaswant Singh...everybody to Siberia”, the Congress Rajya Sabha member had said.