The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rahul mantra on Cong lips

Guwahati, Sept. 11: The clamour for Rahul Gandhi is getting louder.

Bolstered by its poster boy’s own admission that he was ready for a more active role in party affairs, the Youth Congress’s two-day national executive and presidents’ meet, beginning on the outskirts of the city tomorrow, will do just that — turn up the volume for its “youth icon”.

Apart from its campaign for Rahul Gandhi, the convention assumes significance as it is for the first time since the Congress national conference was held here in 1972 that any national political party is organising its national meet in the Northeast.

“We have been demanding a greater role for Rahulji in party affairs for a long time now. Our demand will grow louder during this two-day national executive,” Youth Congress general secretary Chandan Kumar Yadav said. Yadav is also in charge of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim and Orissa units of the Youth Congress.

He said they wanted Rahul to get an important role in the AICC so that he could motivate the youth and guide the Youth Congress activists on a day-to-day basis.

Assam Youth Congress president Rekibuddin Ahmed was more candid in charting a Rahul agenda for the two-day convention. He said the convention would wage a battle within the party to ensure that Rahul gets an “important and decisive” role in party affairs.

Ahmed created a ruckus during the Congress plenary session in Hyderabad last year when he had to be dragged out by the SPG after he tried to rush to the dais demanding a greater role for Rahul in party affairs.

Apart from all the state unit presidents and office bearers, senior Congress leader Oscar Fernandez and Congress chief ministers of the northeastern states are expected to take part in the convention.

The meet will also have threadbare discussions on the challenges posed by terrorism and the role of the Youth Congress in taking up the challenge, Yadav said.

A special session will be devoted to discussing problems confronting the youth of the northeastern region and charting a roadmap for redressing those problems, Yadav said. He claimed that the very idea of organising the convention here was to strengthen the Congress youth organisations in the region.

“The region has witnessed the growth of several regional youth outfits, which are highlighting emotive issues to attract youths. To counter them, we need to know the aspirations of the youths of the region and then formulate policies to address their grievances so that they can contribute toward the greater national cause,” Yadav said.

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