Rahul Gandhi vows to ensure 50% representation to women in AICC

Rahul GandhiRahul Gandhi.Reuters

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today vowed to ensure 50 per cent representation to women in AICC and other party wings as he held his first formal interaction with newly-appointed party office bearers, the team set up by him for the 2014 Lok Sabha poll. "Gandhi talked about how to ensure 50 per cent representation to women in AICC...It's not about reservation. It's about their representation.

"When he observed that their (women) presence is not in the proportion it should be, he said the presence of women is less but it will definitely be 50 per cent inthe coming two-three years," party spokesperson Bhakta Charan Das told reporters after the meeting. Ambika Sonia is the only women among the 12 AICC general secretaries, while of the 44 secretaries only five are women.

Gandhi also made it categorically clear to the office bearers, mainly general secretaries and secretaries, that those who have been given responsibility will also be held accountable. As the reshuffled AICC now wears a younger look with 52 being the average age of office bearers, he also chose the occasion to remind the party leaders that youths should move forward by respecting seniors and taking the help of their experience.

The statement is seen as a move by Gandhi to allay misgivings, if any, among the old guards in the party and some sort of assurance that senior leaders won't be overlooked.

Invoking Mahatma Gandhi, the Congress vice president emphasised on the need to connect the party with masses and directed party leaders to focus on strengthening the organisation more than anything else. The issue of alliances was not discussed in the meeting, a party leader said, adding that there was no mention of any other party or its leader during the interaction session that lasted for more than two hours. Asked whether Narendra Modi was discussed in the meeting, Das said, "Do you think we take interest in such things? We do not give importance to him. We totally ignore him."

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