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Call for Gen Next leader to head Cong grows louder

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The view that a young leader should succeed Rahul Gandhi as Congress president is fast gaining traction with the party’s youth cadre batting for a Gen Next chief over the old guard.

The young brigade’s preference for youth over experience got a boost when Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday asserted that a young person should be chosen as Gandhi’s successor.

Though no Congress leader or worker has publicly put forward any name, party insiders said Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia could be front-runners for the top job in the Grand Old Party.

Pilot, 41, led the party to victory in the assembly polls as the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress chief and has a lot of grassroots experience. Scindia, 48, is also seen as a dynamic leader with mass appeal though he could not win his seat in Madhya Pradesh in the Lok Sabha election.

While Pilot and Scindia seem to be ahead of others in the young brigade, former Union minister Milind Deora could well be the dark horse, say political observers.

The focus swiveled to the young brigade on Sunday when Scindia made public his resignation as general secretary in-charge western Uttar Pradesh and Deora announced he has quit as Mumbai Congress chief. On Saturday, Keshav Chand Yadav resigned as Youth Congress president.

All three resigned citing accountability, Gandhi’s focus after the Lok Sabha polls debacle.

The Congress got only one seat in Uttar Pradesh, that of Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareli, and lost all the five of the six seats in Mumbai it contested.

Announcing his resignation as Mumbai Congress president, 42-year-old Deora said he was looking forward to playing a role at the national level to help stabilize the party.

The resignations citing accountability have put party veterans in a spot with pressure mounting on them to follow suit.

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