Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh would prefer to have a young leader to galvanise the Congress after Rahul Gandhi’s “unfortunate resignation” as party president, the party’s state unit said in a statement today.
The Chief Minister has asked the Congress Working Committee, the party’s top decision-making body, to look for Rahul Gandhi’s replacement in a “charismatic Gen Next leader, who can enthuse the people with his pan-India appeal and grassroots presence”.
“The Congress needs young blood to galvanise its rank and file, and once again make it India’s preferred and only choice,” said Amarinder Singh in the statement. “The leadership of the party should be such that it reflects the realignment of its vision to the evolving aspirations of the nation,” he added.
The Congress may choose between Sushil Kumar Shinde and Mallikarjun Kharge as new party president, sources said. Mr Shinde, 77, a former Maharashtra Chief Minister and former union minister, is seen to be the most likely candidate to head the Congress. He was the party’s nominee for vice president in 2002. Mr Kharge, 76, suffered his first election defeat in a decades-old political career in the recent Lok Sabha polls. Mr Kharge has also been a union minister in more than one Congress government.