Pilot, Yadav Posting First Sign of Congress Generation Shift
By Santwana Bhattacharya | Published: 14th January 2014 07:29 AM |
In a development seen as the clearest indication yet of the widely anticipated generational shift in the Congress, Union Minister Sachin Pilot and Arun Yadav MLA were on Monday appointed as PCC chiefs of the party in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh respectively. Incidentally, the infusion of young blood has come in the two states, where the grand old party had been routed in the recent Assembly polls.
Welcoming Pilot’s appointment, AICC general secretary in-charge for Rajasthan Gurudas Kamat said it is an “excellent choice” and Pilot will give a “new direction” to the PCC. The party old guard claimed that these appointments are being made to usher in a new generation of leaders in the Congress, who would shape the party’s fortunes in the next two decades.
“It is an excellent choice. He is a young and dynamic leader, who has proved his popularity. He comes from a very good family with his father and mother having already served the state. I am sure he will give a clear direction to the PCC in Rajasthan,” Kamath said.
Pilot, 36, a member of Congress deputy chief Rahul Gandhi’s inner circle, replaces incumbent Chandrabhan, who lost in the Assembly polls. With the Lok Sabha polls barely three months away and BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi focusing on Rajasthan, Pilot has his task cut out. The desert state, which neighbours Modi heartland of Gujarat, has 25 LS seats making it all the more crucial for the two rival political parties.
Sources said a number of other leaders, including AICC general secretary C P Joshi, Union Minister Lalchand Kataria and Mahesh Joshi MP were in the race for the PCC chief’s post. Following Pilot’s appointment as PCC chief, an overhaul is expected in the RPCC. And the new Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader would be chosen at Wednesday’s meeting of the newly-elected Congress legislators, with Kamath and Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad scheduled to take part as emissaries of the high command .
Yadav had been elected from the Khargone seat in MP, which clearly showed that he had some political base in the BJP dominated political landscape. And the 39-year-old is seen as one of Congress’ rising stars. The new Haryana PCC chief is also likely to be a youngster, with ex-Youth Congress chief Ashok Tanwar’s name doing the rounds.