There is a visible presence of young leaders in the party, right from the Congress Working Committee (CWC) to party in-charge and other organisational positions. “Young people have got sufficient importance within the party. But the nature of politics is such that within the party you will have to fight for your positions,” said Sushmita Dev, president, Mahila Congress.
“But no one can be impatient to become chief minister. At the same time, if you are an experienced and tall leader, you should lead the party in such a way that when you leave there shouldn’t be a vacuum behind you.”
Former Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam said: “The younger generation is by default ambitious and impatient and there is nothing wrong in it. It is for the party to see how to channelise this energy so that there is
a right mix of young energy and experienced leadership.”
“Ever since Rahul Gandhi has resigned as party president, there has been disorientation within the party. The party needs him back as president,” he said.
Former Congress MP Meenakshi Natarajan said: “People like me have got enough opportunities within the party. Not only me, a number of people who had no political exposure and background have contested Lok Sabha and assembly elections and some are elected members too.”
Haryana Congress leader Kuldeep Bishnoi defended the high command saying: “There is absolutely no problem with Sonia ji, Rahul ji or Priyanka ji. They always encourage leadership. It is because of them people like us are in the party. But there are leaders in Delhi who think they are bigger than even Soniaji. They don’t want to see a leader becoming popular because of their insecurity.”
Other leaders such as Jitin Prasada and Priya Dutt had publicly expressed concern over the turn of events but when contacted refused to comment on the matter. Former Tripura Congress president Pradyot Manikya said the biggest problem within Congress is getting heard by the senior leadership.
“There are people who are fighting the BJP and they don’t see the Congress putting up enough fight. They get frustrated and decide to carve out their own career,” said Manikya, who has left the Congress.