Goa Congress chief Shantaram Naik resigns, says 'inspired' by Rahul Gandhi's speech to make way for youth

Goa Congress president Shantaram Naik submitted his resignation to party president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday, media reports said.

 Goa Congress chief Shantaram Naik resigns, says inspired by Rahul Gandhis speech to make way for youth

File image of former Goa Congress president Shantaram Naik. YouTube screengrab

Naik said to ANI that he was inspired by Rahul's speech at the 84th Congress plenary session, where the party chief said that he wanted the younger generation to come forward and take leadership. "Rahul Gandhi had pointed out to the empty stage and said that this space has been kept for the younger generation and he made a fervent appeal for the younger generation to come forward," Naik said to News18.

"I thought at that moment that I should tender my resignation and give way for the younger generation...but it wasn't proper to tender resignation then and there, therefore, I came to Goa and drafted my resignation letter," he added, saying that he sent the letter to Rahul as well as a copy to former Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

At the plenary session on Sunday, Rahul Gandhi had promised to break the "walls" in the party between workers and leaders and promised to give more tickets to the youth in the forthcoming elections to defeat the BJP.

The 71-year-old Congress leader also spoke to India Today about his decision, saying that his commitment to Rahul and Sonia remains, and whenever they require his services, he would be there for them. "I will continue to work for the party even after stepping down," he said.

PTI reports that Naik had a suggestion for the party. "I only want to suggest that somebody who has put in at least 10 years in the party and has love and commitment for the party should be given a chance to come forward and lead the party in the country," he said about the future leaders of the party.

According to Hindustan Times, the Naik had replaced Luizinho Falerio as the Goa Congress chief on 7 July last year. Congress, with 16 legislators, is currently the main opposition in the Goa Legislative Assembly.

Indian Express reports that Naik may not be the first Congress leader who has tendered their resignation. The report states that Bharatsinh Solanki is also speculated to have resigned as Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee president. However, a statement released by his office late on Monday said, “There is no truth in the talks about my resignation.” Hindustan Times adds that Solanki may have resigned to keep with the Congress tradition of a state unit head offering to quit after the party’s defeat in Assembly polls.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Mar 20, 2018 15:12:59 IST