'Young faces to be inducted in Himachal Congress'

New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) Young faces will be inducted in the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee and the party will step up efforts to win all the four Lok Sabha seats in the state in the 2014 polls, a state party leader said Sunday.

Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, 48, who was nominated to officiate as the state unit president told IANS here that his elevation had sent a message to the party rank and file, particularly the youth, about getting an opportunity at higher levels to prove their mettle.

He said a vast majority of India's population was young and the party wants to give an opportunity to the younger leadership in the government and the party organisation.

"There is likelihood of more young faces coming up in the party hierarchy," Sukhu told IANS.

Sukhu, who was nominated by the party to officiate as Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief earlier this week, said he will take over his new assignment at Shimla Monday.

A two-time Congress MLA, who lost in the recent assembly polls, Sukhu is not considered a loyalist of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.

He said the youth will be given more representation in the Congress organisational set-up.

"We will induct new and younger faces from block to pradesh Congress committee," Sukhu said.

Sukhu, who has spent long years in the organisation as a state general secretary, state Youth Congress president and state president of National Students Union of India (NSUI), said he will lay more thrust on financial accountability of elected representatives.

"Not only financial assets but source of funding should also be made public," he said.

"I will work as a bridge between the government and the party. The aim is to win the 2014 Lok Sabha polls," he added.

Sukhu, who was also a councillor in Shimla Municipal Corporation, said his elevation signalled a generational shift in the state Congress with more thrust on grooming younger leadership.

He said the announcement came to him "as a surprise".

Sukhu fought assembly polls from Nadaun, an assembly seat which falls in the home district of former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.

"I will work to strengthen the Congress in areas that have been strongholds of BJP," he said.

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