Goa Congress president Shantaram Naik announced his resignation from the party post, saying he was “inspired” by party chief Rahul Gandhi’s recent speech. Gandhi, in his 84th Congress plenary speech, had asked the party leaders to make way for younger generation. Naik wrote a letter to All India Congress Committee and said that he was resigning from his post of state party president. Naik had taken over as Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president on July 8, 2017, when he had replaced senior party leader Luizinho Faleiro. This way, 71-year-old Naik became the first senior Congress leader to resign after Gandhi’s call to promote youngster in the party.
In his letter, Naik said, “I have resigned from the post of Goa Congress chief to pave the way for the younger generation to come forward.” He added: “I was inspired by party chief Rahul Gandhi’s speech at the plenary session, where he said he wanted to give chance to the younger generation.”
Naik further pointed out that entire stage was kept empty during the session to in order to send out a message that party is open to welcome the youngsters. He added that only the leaders who were delivering speech used to go up and do it from the podium. “Everyone including Sonia Gandhi was off the dais,” Naik told PTI.
“When Rahul Gandhi went to deliver the speech, he said the stage is kept empty so as to let the younger generation take over the reins. My resignation is to make way for the young leadership to take over,” the former MP said. Naik, a veteran Congress politician, was elected to Lok Sabha in 1984 from North Goa constituency. He was later elected twice to Rajya Sabha later.
In Goa, Congress is the main opposition in the Legislative Assembly with 16 MLAs. Saying that he wanted some young person to lead the party, Naik suggested that somebody who has a work experience of at least 10 years in the party, and has shown love and commitment for it, should be given a chance to come forward.
Gandhi, in his speech, had hinted at an organisational restructuring and said that some of the Congress leaders might not like his words. The Congress President had said that youngsters will be given bigger role in the party.