Within 24 hours of his “Mumbai belongs to all Indians” remark, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday appointed an OBC from Maharashtra as the last nominated president of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC).
He is also slated to visit Mumbai on Friday even as the war of words with the Shiv Sena is heating up.
The appointment of Maharashtra Youth Congress president Rajeev Satav as the new IYC president is seen an attempt by the Gandhi scion to counter the Shiv Sena and Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).
But Satav (35), who replaced Sirsa MP Ashok Tanwar as the IYC chief, said, “It’s a mark of respect to youth of Maharashtra... It’s also a matter of pride that the Youth Congress has a president from Maharashtra after a gap of 20 years ago.” Mukul Wasnik was the last IYC president from Maharashtra.
In the 2009 assembly elections, Satav had wrested the Kalamnuri seat from the Shiv Sena after 20 years.
Gandhi’s announcement at a meeting of IYC office bearers on Wednesday evening surprised all. “It came as a huge surprise to me. I didn’t expect it and there was no indication either,” Satav told HT. “Rahulji had appointed me as Maharashtra Youth Congress president through a talent search. It came as a big surprise to me then also.”
Satav would be the 16th and the last IYC president as Gandhi, 39, has set a deadline of December 2010 for the organisational elections.