Rahul’s young guns take charge in Gujarat | india | Hindustan Times
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Rahul’s young guns take charge in Gujarat

india Updated: Jun 23, 2009 01:15 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi

It is ‘Mission Gujarat’ accomplished for Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi (39). The four-month-long Gujarat Youth Congress poll process concluded on Sunday, with the election of an eight-member team. The first phase was held in March.

Of the 2,227 electoral college members, drawn from the 182 assembly segments, 2,133 voted to elect a president, vice-president and six general secretaries.

“We received 27 nominations. All the candidates were given platform to express their views and vision for the party,” said a Youth Congress leader involved in the process. He didn’t wish to be identified as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

“It was like the US presidential election debate. Each candidate had three-four minutes to convince the voters.”

It took about two-and-a-half-hour to complete the exercise on Sunday.

The candidate with highest votes was elected the president. The first runner-up was elected the vice-president and the second runner-up general secretary.

The remaining five posts of general secretaries were reserved — two for women (one for Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe), one each for SCs/STs, Other Backward Classes and minorities.

Inder Vijay Singh Gohil was elected president and Paresh Dhanani his deputy. Prakash Gurjar, Meghna Patel, Rajeshwar Baria, Siddarth Chaudhary, Mayurika Chudasma and Samir Khan Pathan were elected general secretaries.

Prior to the president’s election, the delegates elected committees for the state’s 26 parliamentary seats, the Youth Congress leader said. “It’s Rahulji’s mission to see there is total internal democracy in the Youth Congress.”

A four-member Youth Congress Election Commission oversaw the polls. Also, Rahul had roped in the Foundation for Advanced Management of Elections (FAME), a non-governmental organisation that helps in monitoring poll procedures within and outside the country, to ensure the elections were free and fair.

FAME secretary-general KJ Rao, a former adviser to the Election Commission of India, and two other representatives certified that elections were free and fair and signed the results.

With Gujarat and Punjab over, Team Rahul now heads for Tamil Nadu and Pudducherry.