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Expect Rahul to become Congress president this year: Jairam Ramesh

Rahul Gandhi is expected to become the party president this year and intends to build the outfit similar to the one that existed during Nehru’s time by promoting regional faces, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said on Wednesday.

“..I expect that it would be in 2015. We are expecting that he will take over (as Congress president), and we are expecting that he would take over in 2015,” the former union minister told PTI in an interview here.

Gandhi is committed to creating a new cadre of leadership in states, he said.

“He (the Congress vice president) recognises that we need state-level leadership. We need to create the Congress party that existed during the times of Jawaharlal Nehru, where we had a Kamaraj, Pratap Singh Kairon, YB Chavan, BC Roy, GB Pant among others,” Ramesh said.

“We need regional-level leadership because we are not only fighting national elections, we are also fighting state elections.

“He (Rahul) does not believe in the culture of nominations; he believes in people emerging as leaders; he does not believe in para-trooping,” he said.

Ramesh dismissed complaints from some quarters that the Congress old guard feels insecure about their future with Rahul taking over from Sonia Gandhi and downplayed the discordant notes on his leadership qualities.

“There is no old guard. There is no young guard. There is only one guard. There is only Congress guard”, Ramesh said.

“Every organisation must undergo a process of renewal every 20 years…Every 25 years and the Congress must project younger faces from a broader spectrum of society…Give them positions of prominence, give them positions of authority,” he emphasized.

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