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Saturday, Aug 17, 2019

‘Young leaders will not be heard’: Congress secretary writes to Rahul Gandhi

The Congress secretary who wrote the letter feels that the ‘governing class’ in the party will sideline the youth in the party.

india Updated: Jul 22, 2019 10:09 IST
Amrita Madhukalya
Amrita Madhukalya
New Delhi
A Congress Secretary has written to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi urging him that senior leader need to take into account the views of young Congress leaders.
A Congress Secretary has written to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi urging him that senior leader need to take into account the views of young Congress leaders. (HTFILE)

An All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary has written to Rahul Gandhi, who offered to step down as party president in the wake of the Congress’s drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls in May, saying that without him at the helm, the “governing class” in the party may not take into account the views of younger office-bearers.

The letter by Christopher Tilak, reviewed by Hindustan Times, has been marked to all the 13 general secretaries, including general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal, and the 74 secretaries. Without Gandhi, it will be easy for the “governing class” in the party to “restrict the entry of the servile class into the party structure,” the letter dated July 13 says. Tilak refused to comment after HT got in touch with him.

Tilak was one of the young politicians — many of them first-generation politicians below 45 years of age —appointed by Gandhi in October last year.

“There was a meeting last year where he strongly made a case for the inclusion of more people who were not from political families, or had not been MLAs or MPs previously,” a party member marked in the mail told HT.

Gandhi had resigned as Congress president on May 25 after the party managed to win only 52 of 543 Lok Sabha seats in the general elections. Though the Congress Working Committee (CWC), party’s highest decision making body, unanimously rejected his resignation, Gandhi remained firm on his decision. Several top leaders have urged Gandhi to continue leading the party. Many have even offered to quit party posts in the wake of Gandhi’s resignations.

General secretary incharge of Madhya Pradesh Deepak Babaria, AICC secretaries Virender Rathore, Anil Choudhury and Rajesh Dharmani, and foreign cell secretary Virender Vashist among others had resigned last month.

“The permanent members of CWC are mostly super seniors who are far from the present ground reality which in turn will encourage only a few to call the shots...,” the letter reads.

“Even before the AICC Secretaries could settle and perform, you have taken the decision to step down. Assuming AICC Secretaries to be part of the AICC structure, I have neither been contacted nor my views have been heard after your resignation,” Tilak said in the letter.

Tilak, then goes on to propose to the other secretaries within the party that all of them should be called for a meeting and consulted individually or in batches. “In the past 45 days since Gandhi stepped down, not a single meeting of the secretaries has taken place, and they have not been called for any discussion on the future course of things,” the letter further reads.

Responding to the views similar to what is expressed in the letter, CWC member Jitin Prasada, also a young leader, told reporters on Thursday that opinion of Congress party workers will be kept in mind while deciding on the appointment of the next party president. “The party is in the midst of the consultation process and the final decision will be taken after honouring the views of the party workers,” he said.

Gandhi, in a four-page letter earlier this month, had said that he would not recommend a name or push for any candidate for the party president’s post.

First Published: Jul 22, 2019 01:15 IST

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