Leaders like Digvijaya Singh might still be young at heart, but not for the Congress anymore. If reports are to be believed, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi would get a younger team on board as soon as he takes complete charge of the party, which is likely by March 2016.
In an interview to the Press Trust of India in Hyderabad, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said on Sunday that "the 30-year-olds and 40-year-olds" must get the "positions of prominence", indicating only advisory role for 60 plus leaders.
"We must get the 30-year-olds and 40-year-olds in positions of prominence (in Congress). The time for 60-year-olds, 70-year-olds and the 80-year-olds is over," the former Union minister was quoted as saying.
"You must reflect India. The median age in India is 28. So, there must be a generational shift, and there was a generational shift when Rajiv Gandhi became Prime Minister (in 1984)," the Rajya Sabha member said.
"We must get a younger generation in their 30s and 40s. They (60 plus leaders) will be there; they should provide the years of experience, wisdom and all the things that comes with age. And after 70, you should have a graceful exit," he opined.
The Congress leader even took a swipe at the ruling BJP for completely sidelining its veterans by the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah combination.
"There is (will be) no bloodbath (when Rahul takes over). I don't think Gandhi will treat the seniors the way Modi has treated the seniors. Modi has sent LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Yashwant Sinha, Jaswant Singh...everybody to Siberia," Ramesh told PTI in an interview in Hyderabad.
Earlier this year, Ramesh had said that Rahul Gandhi was expected to take over as the Congress president in 2015. However, he now says that it is taking time as the vice-president is busy picking his team and shaping the structure of the party under him.