New Delhi: The ruling Congress party has expanded the list of leaders authorized to speak to the media to 36 with an accent on youth as it seeks to counter the battering it has been receiving over allegations of corruption and maladministration.

The party wants to improve its image ahead of a series of elections leading up to the national polls scheduled for next year. Few of the new spokespersons are from the party’s youth wing, the Indian Youth Congress (IYC).

The move expands the list from the eight spokespersons and information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari, who currently speak for the party and engage in debates on television.

Those on the list include environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan, minister of state for human resource development Shashi Tharoor, minister of state for urban development Deepa Dasmunsi, minister of state for parliamentary affairs Rajeev Shukla, corporate affairs minister Sachin Pilot, minister of state for home affairs R.P. Singh and Youth Congress leader Rajiv Satav.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has been highlighting the need for young leaders to be given bigger roles in the party organization.

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