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Senior Congress leaders unwilling to contest polls: Party claims it wants to give chance to youths; analysts think differently
In the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, when on one side Congress's unofficial PM-in-waiting Rahul Gandhi is busy in making tall claims that post-elections his party will surprise all, when the actual results will come out; at the same time top notch Congress leaders like P. Chidambaram are back tracking from fighting the election battle.
In last few days apart from Chidambaram, who has fielded his son Karti Chidambaram from Sivaganga, other senior leaders like AK Antony, Manish Tiwari, Jayanthi Natrajan and G K Vasan have declared not to contest Lok Sabha elections.

AK Antony is Rajya Sabha MP from Kerala. Manish Tewari is sitting Lok Sabha MP from Ludhiana. Former union minister Jayanti Natrajan and GK Vasan are Rajya Sabha MPs from Tamil Nadu.

The Congress spokesperson Meem Afzal tried to defend his party's senior leaders decision of not contesting elections by saying that the party want to project youths following the ideology of Rahul Gandhi.

He said, “No senior leader is backing off. They still are main pillars of the party. Manish Tewari had gone out of the Lok Sabha elections due to severe health issues whereas P Chidambaram's move has divulged the main motive of the Congress party i.e 'Representation of the Youths' in what party believes.”

On the case of Jayanti Natrajan and GK Vasan, Afzal said the Congress doesn't fight elections on the basis of individual personalities, but on the basis of its principles.

“We don't rely upon personalities to fetch more votes in our vote bank. The Congress president Sonia Gandhi and its vice-president Rahul Gandhi believes in fighting elections on their principles only.”

Afzal also took a potshot at the BJP, on the issue of internal fights going on with in the party “We are not like BJP where old leaders like Lal Krishna Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi are struggling and fighting with each other in order to get ticket from their desired constituencies, rather providing chance to the Youths. Congress is the one which always thinks for youths and represent them.”

Why the senior Congress leaders are unwilling to contest Lok Sabha polls at a time when their tallest leader is trying hard to portray that the Congress is still in fight and will surprise all. Are senior Congress leaders poll scared? Have they accepted that their defeat is certain?

On this, senior journalist and political affairs expert Avdhesh Kumar has to say, “Congress is aware about its current condition that even Rahul Gandhi wave won't let them to taste the syrup of triumph but still Rahul Gandhi's consolation is keeping that 'winability flame' alive in their hearts.”

He added, “The motive of Chidambaram is not to represent the youths but to get over with defeat fear. In short the party has already accepted its defeat. But I think either the Congress loose or win, it should remain unshakable in battlefield. No party is representing Youths, most of the Congress candidates in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi are in their old age, they doesn't represent youth and same is with BJP. That doesn't call representation of youth but the representation of old era.”

Few days back, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had also launched a scathing attack at the Congress and Rahul Gandhi in his editorial in the party's mouthpiece Saamna. Uddhav had said, "No one wants a Congress ticket these days. Party is running behind candidates. Most of them are excusing themselves by opting to work for the organisation. Even a young leader like Manish Tewari is giving health reasons. In fact the health of Congress has failed.”

He also mocked at Rahul Gandhi's claim of winning 200 seats in the upcoming elections.


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