"Congress President Sonia Gandhi has approved the name of Amrinder Singh Raja Brar, MLA (Punjab), as President of Indian Youth Congress with immediate effect," party General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi said in a statement.
    
Raja replaces Rajiv Satav, an MP from Hingoli in Maharashtra. The change in the Youth Congress leadership was due for some time after Satav's tenure came to an end.
    
Today's appointment belied Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi's pitch for ending the nomination culture in the party.
    
Election to the posts of office-bearers still seems to be a far cry as it could not be implemented fully even in the Youth Congress, where Rahul had begun the democratisation process more than six years ago after taking charge of the youth and student wings as AICC general secretary in 2007.
    
While appointing Satav as IYC chief in 2010, Gandhi had made it clear that he would be the last nominated chief of the youth wing and that his successor would be an elected person. Satav, an OBC leader from Maharashtra, had then replaced Sirsa MP Ashok Tanwar, who is now the PCC chief of Haryana.
    
Raja was a general secretary in the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) before being sent to contest the last Assembly elections in Punjab.
    
The 37-year-old MLA from Gidderbaha Assembly constituency said his immediate priority would be to strengthen the organisation by enrolling youth in large numbers from booth level onwards and "expose" the failures of the BJP-led central government by holding protests and other programmes.
    
"I will strive to infuse a new lease of life into the organisation," he said, adding he was among the first "elected" office-bearers of Youth Congress after Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi started election process.
    
"I or my family had no link with politics. But Rahul's drive motivated me," he said.
    
After the appointment of Raja, Satav in a tweet welcomed the decision and thanked the Congress President and the Vice President for entrusting him with the IYC President's responsibility for the last five years.

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