Winds of change in Youth Congress – 30 members get tickets


New Delhi : Thanks to Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s efforts, the party is not only involving its youth wing in the implementation of the government’s development schemes but also empowering it by giving tickets to 30 of its members in the upcoming assembly elections.

Support TwoCircles

The 30 Youth Congress members – all under 35 – are fighting elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir and Mizoram. In earlier elections, the youth wing had to be content one or two tickets.

Rahul Gandhi, who is in charge of the Youth Congress and the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), has actively involved Youth Congress cadres to propagate central schemes like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act as well as put them in direct charge of getting them implemented.

For instance, the Aam Admi Ka Sipahi (the common man’s soldier) Scheme initiated in September in Andhra Pradesh. Under it, a district coordinator trained solely for the purpose of bridging the gap between government schemes and the people will directly handle public grievances.

Said national spokesperson of Indian Youth Congress Pradeep Kumar: “This scheme would be in place in 600-odd districts across India by April 2009.” The scheme also serves the purpose of exposing young party workers to the India they have not seen.

Besides the number of contestants, in another shift from the post, tickets have also been given to young leaders at the block and district levels.

“This is because Rahulji wants to promote youth who form the bulk of the Indian population and promote new grassroots leadership,” Youth Congress president Ashok Tanwar told IANS.

In Madhya Pradesh, for instance, a Youth Congress block president is the party’s candidate in Malargarh district while legislator Jile Singh Chauhan from the Burari constituency in Delhi has been dropped in favour of Adarsh Nagar Youth Congress president Deepak Tyagi.

Anil Choudhury, who bagged a ticket from the Congress from Patparganj, east Delhi, for the Nov 29 Delhi elections, said: “The party’s schemes at the centre and state level will help the Congress, and Rahul Gandhi has infused new energy in the youth Congress.”

The other Youth Congress members in the fray include Yogesh Tiwari in Chhattisgarh, Neeraj Dangi (Rajasthan), Jeetu Patwari (Madhya Pradesh), Zoditulange (Mizoram) and Amin Bhatt (Jammu and Kashmir).

Choudhury, who is also a Municipal Coorporation of Delhi (MCD) councillor, added: “The students’ and youth’s stand is coherent with the party’s stand to be connected to the people.”

Besides these, there have been reforms in the Youth Congress. “There have been administrative reforms and changes, giving weightage to merit of the members and their performance on Gandhi’s directives,” said Kumar.

“There are internal elections in various state offices. A meritocracy core group has been set up to assess the performance based on attendance, opinion, image and work; so the activists have to perform,” he said.

Youth comprise a sizeable chunk of the electorate. In Delhi, for instance, four million of the 10 million voters are between the ages of 18 and 29.