About 15 months away from the next Lok Sabha elections, the Congress is on course-correction mode, attempting to win over not only the middle class urban youth but also migrants who form a large chunk of floating voters.
In its 56-point Jaipur declaration, the party acknowledged that migration was a natural phenomenon in a developing country and pledged to create jobs and self-employment opportunities for migrants.
The move is aimed at tapping migrants who, after moving to cities in search of job opportunities, gradually become part of the rising middle class.
Congress leaders have argued that more than 65% of India’s 1.2 billion people, who are under 35 years of age, are continuously shifting to cities. With political parties now depending less on the rural poor, serious efforts should be made to tap them and address the regional disparities at the national and state levels, they decided.
The party included a point on migrants in its Jaipur declaration at Mumbai MP Sanjay Nirupam’s insistence. Nirupam, a migrant himself, along with Ajay Maken and Tushar Choudhary, had flagged the issue at the ‘chintan shivir’ in Jaipur. They were critical of the UPA government for ignoring migrants and urban youth in its nine years of policy-making that has been primarily rural-centric.
The Congress has conceded that the root cause of the recent phenomenon of flash mobs is the angry and influential urban youth, who are disillusioned with political parties.