Young, first-generation leaders appointed in Congress reshuffle
Criticized for decades for the nepotistic politics, Congress finally seems to be taking a step in the right direction. At least 30 out of 44 secretaries appointed by the Congress in various states to assist office-bearers are first-generation politicians, thereby signalling a shift in the party's organizational structure. In the party's ongoing reshuffle, 70 other young leaders have been shortlisted too. Here's more.
A few of the first-generation leaders
Some of the first-generation leaders appointed by the Congress are Prakash Joshi from Uttarakhand, Manickam Tagore from Tamil Nadu, PC Vishunadh from Kerala, Chandan Yadav from Bihar, Shaikh Mastan Vali from Andhra Pradesh, Jitu Patwari from Madhya Pradesh and Zubair Khan from Rajasthan.
Appointment of new blood restricted to second rung of Congress
The shift towards young blood, however, is limited to the second rung of Congress leadership for now. A large section of the top echelon, over and above the Nehru-Gandhi family, still come from political families. Political analysts have praised the new appointments as a step in the right direction, but have included the caveat that the new secretaries should be allowed to function independently.
Appointments meaningless without autonomy
"This is also a good measure towards inclusive politics because a new crop of leaders from non-political families will emerge...[but] If you appoint good people, but don't allow them to work, it won't take the party any far," said Delhi-based political analyst N Bhaskara Rao.
Rahul Gandhi seems to be living up to his promises
Congress apparent shift towards young blood is along the lines of promises made by newly-appointed party president Rahul Gandhi. In a speech at the Congress plenary session on 18th March, Rahul Gandhi had said that he would try his best to "break the wall between leaders and workers" and bring the backbenchers to the front line.
Newly-appointed secretary heaps praise on Rahul Gandhi
"Rahul-ji has maintained that the political system can be changed only if more and more young people join politics. He has also ensured that the doors of the Congress party remain open for the common people and first generation leaders," said newly-appointed secretary Prakash Joshi.