Former Congress President, Rahul Gandhi, has proposed to retire the colleagues who are over 70 years of age. According to a report in The Sunday Guardian, Gandhi wants to sideline and push out the party’s senior leaders in a phased manner. It is believed that Gandhi wants his supporters to get a better position in the party.
It is not clear if the interim president of the Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi, who herself is 73 years old will allow such a suggestion. In case the party decides to go ahead with it, many leaders, including Ambika Soni, Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Digvijay Singh, Mallikarjun Kharge, and Chidambaram will have to leave their positions in the party. Chief Ministers, including Ashok Gehlot and Captain Amrinder Singh, will not be able to fight elections again. Former Chief Ministers, including Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Kamal Nath, and others, will have to leave behind their dream of acquiring the office in the future.
23 ‘rebel’ Congress leaders wrote to Sonia Gandhi
The proposal holds significant importance in the context of the letter that 23 senior Congress leaders sent demanding overhauling of the party’s leadership. While talking to young party functionaries a day after the CWC meeting, Rahul said that he is looking for a “transformative change and not any incremental change.” The proposal will not only stand in sync with Rahul’s “vision” for the future of the party but will also help put an end to any possibilities of revolt by the senior leaders.
What happened in the virtual meeting?
As per the report, the meeting was attended by younger members of the party, including Manickam Tagore, Sushmita Dev, Bhanwar Jitendra Singh, Rajeev Gowda and others. KC Venugopal was the host of the meeting. Interestingly Dinesh Gundu Rao, Amit Deshmukh, Deepender Hooda, Jitin Prasada and Anil Choudhury were not present in the meeting as they were informed it had been postponed.
While answering one of the members, Rahul said that his mantra for the future was that the senior leaders who have attained the age of 70 years should not get tickets for Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha. Though the decision would have repercussions and the party might lose the next general elections, it will be a big step for the future.
Rahul’s plan is more than enough to sow the seed of division in the party, the report suggested. However, such changes have to go through the party president, and it is unlikely Sonia Gandhi will approve of it. The report quoted a source saying that “the letter to Sonia Gandhi was leaked after unexpected Rahul’s camp activity. There were considerations to appoint KC Venugopal as interim president.”