Perform or perish. This is the fresh warning Rahul Gandhi has issued to Youth Congress leaders in the light of non-favourable reports pertaining to their performance.
Taking this directive from the Congress general secretary seriously, the Youth Congress has - for the first time - introduced a ranking system to identify performing and non-performing office bearers from the booth to state level. According to it, green, yellow and red ranks are being allotted to functionaries on the basis of their performance in carrying out organisational activities. While active and performing office bearers will get the green rank, yellow would go to active but non-performing members, and red to inactive non-performers.Active but non-performing members are those who go about their daily routines but do not produce results.
The move follows widespread criticism that young leaders with political patronage and lineage were the greatest beneficiaries of the democratisation process initiated by Gandhi in 2007, when he took over as the Congress general secretary in charge of the Youth Congress and NSUI.
However, the exercise in Maharashtra revealed that a large number of non-performers were relatives of senior leaders. Only 49 office bearers of the 50,000 in Maharashtra were identified as performers. "They will be groomed as future leaders, and their services will be accounted for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections," a Youth Congress functionary said.
In Karnataka, the only other state besides Maharashtra where the performance appraisal was first launched a few months ago, only 61 out of the 24,000 office bearers were identified as performers.
The exercise, currently in progress across 11 states, will cover the entire country in the next six months.