Congress willing to align with like-minded, secular parties: Maken

New Delhi, June 17 (IANS) The Congress is watching carefully the political situation in Bihar where the JD-U and BJP parted ways and is willing to align with "likeminded and secular" parties, newly-appointed party general secretary Ajay Maken said Monday.

Maken, in his first press conference after taking over his powerful party post, also said the Congress party was set to play "a major role in Bihar".

Terming the organizational revamp in the Congress as the most youthful to date with the average age of party officials at 52 years, Maken, who resigned as union minister Saturday to make an entry into the party organization, said the Congress was stressing more on communication in order to reach out to people.

"The party is clearly stressing on communication and also on accessibility. From my side, I wish to assure that I will be accessible as well as my other colleagues so that our thinking is conveyed to the people of India," Maken said.

He also said that party chief Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi have put together the "most youthful team of office bearers. Rahul Gandhi is the youth leader, his stamp is clearly visible" in the party organization.

To a question on Bihar, Maken said: "What has happened in Bihar will have far reaching effect in the country. We are watching the situation carefully. It is not possible to say anything now."

The Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parted ways in Bihar over the latter naming Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the party poll campaign panel chief.

"The Congress will play a major role in Bihar, this I can say," said Maken of the party that was ousted from power in the state more than two decades ago.

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