Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday said the party should shift its focus to the youth and presented a “radical” suggestion that tickets for one half of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha should be reserved for those under 35 years.
Noting that it was time to embrace the youth as 68 per cent of the total 83 crore voters in the country was below 35 years, he said, “I appeal to the Congress president that if the growth is for the youth, I have a radical idea and I do not know how popular I will be after that”.
“I believe that at least one half of the Parliament seats... 272 Parliament seats the Congress party must give to candidates below the age of 35,” he said at the AICC meet here, adding that young India must be trusted with the authority of power and responsibility. At this, party president Sonia Gandhi was seen smiling and gesturing something to Kumari Selja. Rahul Gandhi was not present when Chidambaram was speaking. Carrying on with his focus for youth empowerment, Chidambaram gave the slogan “Young India empowered India”. Chidambaram, a Tamilian, said in Hindi “Yuva Bharat Sashakat Bharat”.
Party MP Priya Dutt also suggested that the party should put a cap on the number of times a candidate can contest elections to three so as to give the younger generation a chance.
The party resolution committed to create 10 million jobs for young Indians each year and imparting them with the skills to take in these jobs. The party also welcomed the new national youth policy approved by the UPA government last week, which aims to empower the country’s youth to achieve their full potential.
Noting that safety and welfare of women will always remain an overarching priority of the Congress, the resolution pledged to continue the party’s “unrelenting focus on the issues of women’s safety, welfare and empowerment”. Chidambaram made use of the occasion to attack the BJP and expressed confidence that the UPA Government will return to power.