2/24: Rahul’s dream for young nominees fails to take off in UP

It seems that Congress has failed to heed its young general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s advice when it came to selecting candidates for the Lok Sabha seats in his own home state of UP.

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow | Published: March 11, 2009 3:56 am

It seems that Congress has failed to heed its young general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s advice when it came to selecting candidates for the Lok Sabha seats in his own home state of UP.

The list of 24 candidates released by the Congress for Uttar Pradesh has only two candidates who are in their thirties — Rahul Gandhi and Jitin Prasada. This even as 38-year-old Rahul has been advocating distribution of 30 per cent tickets to youth.

In the list of 24,as many as nine candidates are in their sixties,the oldest being Union Minister Mahavir Prasad who is 69.

Another nine are in their fifties,and just four are in their forties.

Defending the party’s choice,state Congress spokesman Akhilesh Pratap Singh said the first list had candidates who were either sitting candidates or were runners-up in the last election thus there was little scope for new and young faces. “You should wait for the second list,’ he added.

After Rahul said the party should field youths,the Youth Congress had asked its UP wing to prepare a list of candidates.

Yogesh Dixit,president of the UP Youth Congress said they had sent their recommendations and added,“The rest was for the high command to decide.”

“Just the first list has been declared,we hope to see some young faces in the next lists,” said Dixit.

Though the second list may be announced later this week,party sources said likelihood of 30 per cent young candidates is far-fetched.

“We may not have much of young faces in the second list but we will certainly have some important faces,” said a senior party leader.

The leader said that while the party wanted to promote young candidates,it did not want to take risk. In the last elections,the party could win only nine Lok Sabha seats.

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