Youth power to dominate at Cong Chintan Shivir at Jaipur

With Rahul Gandhi virtually taking centre-stage in Congress politics, youth power is expected to come to the fore as never before during the party's Chintan Shivir at Jaipur this week.

This is because for the first time around 160 members from Youth Congress and NSUI will be among the 350 participants during two-day conclave, which has assumed importance in view of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Rahul's stamp on their participation is clear as he is the AICC general secretary in-charge for these two wings, which are sending maximum representatives to the Shivir, which begins on January 18, among all other front wings of the party.

Rahul, whose "larger role" in Congress is the buzz word, has already been made in-charge of party's all powerful Election Coordination Committee, which has a key contribution at the conclave.

There were not more than five youth leaders in the earlier two such brainstorming sessions of the party at Panchmarhi and Shimla held in 1998 and 2003, respectively.

As party leaders are projecting the conclave as an attempt to arrive at a "harmonious blend of youth and experience" to get the party's act together as a precursor to formation of UPA-III, a former Youth Congress leader and Union Minister Manish Tewari said, "Rahul Gandhi is our leader and we look forward to him leading us into battle in 2014."

There were indications from the party earlier that more than one third participants in the conclave could be youth to drive home a message that the party is focusing on a generational change of politics in near future.

The AICC reshuffle, which is pending, could happen soon after the Shivir, that may see Rahul Gandhi's number two position formalised.

Congress has already stopped the talk of 'going it alone', which dominated its discourse a few years back with the party saying no alliance with Lalu Prasad and Mulayam Singh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh in 2009.

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