KOLKATA: Senior Congress leaders should now act as “mentors and not tormentors” and the party should ensure that young leaders take over the reins before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, party leader Jairam Ramesh has said.
He said the Gujarat Assembly poll result was an indication that the party was making a comeback and observed that Congress president Rahul Gandhi is a “full-time politician” post-Gujarat.
“The old people in the Congress should now act as mentors and not tormentors. These are the people who can advise, guide. They have seen the world and have a role in Parliament, but you have to get younger people too…” he told PTI in an interview.
The former Union Environment Minister was here to attend the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary meet.
Asked if senior leaders in the party should bow out before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, he said, “There are young leaders like Sachin Pilot, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Gaurav Gogoi, Sushmita Dev, we should project them.”
“We have made a big comeback in Gujarat with 41 per cent votes. Gujarat has been the first sign of revival and there is no doubt about it. The party should have formed the government in Goa and Manipur too. We could not win the polls due to under-the-table dealings of the BJP,” Mr. Ramesh said.
“Rahul Gandhi, post Gujarat, is dramatically different from Rahul Gandhi pre-Gujarat. He is now a full-time politician,” Mr. Ramesh said.
“The fact that Prime Minister Modi had to spend so much time in Gujarat was an indication that they were nervous and stopping them at 99 seats, when the BJP was targeting 150, was a big morale booster,” he said.
The BJP had won 99 seats in the 182-member Assembly, its tally dipping from 115 in the last elections.