Ramesh, who recently suggested that all Congress leaders should retire at 70, a view from which party distanced itself, described Rahul as "marathon man, a long distance runner".
"Gandhi has plans of reorganising the party and he should have a young team. He must have a young team", Ramesh told PTI in an interview.
"Performance must replace parikrama. We have seen lot of politics of the parikrama. Now there should be politics of performance," he said. In political parlance parikrama means sycophancy. Noting that Gandhi has a gameplan for the party, vision for the party, Ramesh said that the Congress Vice President wants to change the candidate selection process.
"Primaries are beginning of the process of empowering the party worker." On his "retire at 70" view, Ramesh said that what he is pitching for was to bring more youngsters into the party from diverse background. "In politics, at all levels we must bring new people from new backgrounds. It should not be a monopoly of the few. We should constantly renew the organisation", he said.
Citing his own example, Ramesh, who has been a close associate of the Congress Vice President, suggested that he was not an exception. "In one week, I am going to be sixty. Age wise, I can also be old. He (Rahul) can draw upon my experience, but his foot soldiers have to be youngsters, new people coming from all backgrounds., across all backgrounds."
He said,"You must know when to exit. Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev left when they were at the peak. So was the case with Vijay Merchant." "This is not true only in politics. It applies to business, films, academics, media, industry and science too. In India, people should know when to go". At the same time, he said that this cannot be applicable in each case.
N R Narayana Murthy of the Infosys, who had left at 65, came back at the helm after sometime and even brought his son back because "sometimes circumstances may change". Replying to a question, he dismissed suggestions that the Congress was fighting the elections to be an 'also ran'. "We are not fighting the 2014 elections to sit in the opposition. We are fighting for coming back to power", he said.
He replied in the negative when asked whether Congress has resigned to a situation to sit in the opposition and was now making efforts to prevent Narendra Modi to reach Race Course Road. "It is a hypothetical question. If people give the mandate, we form the government, if they give the mandate to BJP, we will sit in the opposition," Ramesh said.
He said that Congress had been a constructive opposition. "We have sat in the opposition from 1998 to 2004. And if you see Congress in opposition and BJP in opposition, then our record is more constructive."