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Aiyar after poll loss: Congress losing relevance, needs leadership change

Former Union minister Mani Shankar Aiyar is demanding a shake-up in the Congress after a series of electoral setbacks

india Updated: Mar 16, 2017 14:23 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Congress,Rahul Gandhi,BJP
Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar said the general secretaries need to be the young people and the experienced ones should be in the Congress working committee.(HT file photo)

Former Union minister Mani Shankar Aiyar joined on Thursday a growing chorus of Congress leaders demanding a shake-up in the 131-year-old party following a series of electoral setbacks and shrinking national presence.

Speaking to reporters minutes after the Congress failed to win a floor test in Goa, Aiyar demanded a change in leadership of the party, which is being led by vice-president Rahul Gandhi in the absence of chief Sonia Gandhi who is away for medical treatment.

“Our position in national politics is shrinking…there is a need to bring change in the Congress leadership,” ANI quoted the former Panchayati Raj minister as saying.

“The general secretaries need to be the young people and the old experienced people should be in the Congress working committee.”

Criticism of the Congress leadership has intensified after the party was crushed in the Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh elections, and failed to form the government in Goa and Manipur despite emerging as the single-largest party.

Many local leaders have admitted the leadership dithered on alliance formation in the two states with hung assemblies, ceding space to the BJP that has now cobbled together coalition governments in both places.

Rahul Gandhi has promised instrospection and an organizational overhaul but with a clutch of state polls later this year and general elections two years away, experts say the Congress needs to groom regional leaders and give up a top-down approach to mount a serious challenge to the BJP.

First Published: Mar 16, 2017 14:06 IST