Rahul to inaugurate Youth Congress show in Delhi

New Delhi : Rahul Gandhi will inaugurate a national level convention of the newly-elected office bearers of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) – the first such gathering under his charge – here Monday, organisation sources said.

The two-day conference, named tellingly as ‘Buniyaad’ (Foundation), will be held at the Japanese Park in Rohini in north-west Delhi and will be attended by about 7,000 leaders from the local, state and national levels, they added.

The conference comes amid speculation that Gandhi, the party general secretary, will be given a larger role in the party soon to help party president and his mother Sonia Gandhi, who underwent a surgery abroad in August for an undisclosed illness. Rahul Gandhi is at present the party general secretary in charge of the Youth Congress and National Students Union of India (NSUI).

Political observers view Buniyaad as a show of Gandhi’s four-year work in charge of the youth wing, during which the IYC membership crossed 10 million. The identity details of all the members have been documented with photograph, age proof and other information, an IYC leader said.

As part of the drive to attract new members, Gandhi had travelled to colleges, universities and institutions across the country, urging the youth to join the IYC which “is undergoing a transformation”.

The organisation had said that “a new training regime will ensure that each and every member will be empowered and also helped to bring in new levels of professionalism”.

IYC circles said the organisation has been able to complete elections in 20 major states already. Elections to the other states are expected to be over by next month.

“Completing relatively free and fair elections in such a big organisation has been an achievement. A new generation of leaders has been brought to the fore by Rahulji,” a senior Congress leader, who did not want to be identified, told IANS.

According to a IYC leader, the registration of the IYC delegates for the conference will begin Sunday evening.

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, other party office-bearers and senior ministers will also attend the meet, he said. An invitation has been sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too, though his participation has not been confirmed yet, he added.

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