The results of the Assembly elections have brought mixed results for Rahul Gandhi's Youth Congress, which fielded 38 candidates in five states. Fifteen candidates managed to win comfortably.
The youngest candidate in the fray, Hibi Eden, 27, won with a wide margin in Kerala's Ernakulam constituency, once represented by his father late George Eden in both the Assembly and the Lok Sabha. Eden is also president of the National Students' Union of India.But the Youth Congress received major blows in Tamil Nadu, where all 10 candidates, including key office-bearers, lost. They included national general secretary S Jothimani (Karur), Tamil Nadu Youth Congress president M Yuvaraja (Erode West) and national secretaries K Mahendran (Peravurani) and SK Arthanari (Attur).
The only Youth Congress candidate in Puducherry, S Muthukumarasamy, also lost in Nettapakkam.
While West Bengal salvaged some pride, the strike rate of the Congress' youth wing in Kerala was less than 50%. Of 14 candidates in the fray, only six, including state president PC Vishnunath (Chengannur), won.
Those defeated include vice-president M Liju (Ambalapuzha) and KT Benny, whose candidature from Chalakkudy was opposed by the state unit. Benny's selection came as a surprise for state leaders as not many knew about him. But he was reported to have been handpicked by Gandhi himself.
The exclusion of former state president T Siddique from the list had started a protest among Youth Congress cadres. Siddique was their favourite because he had led agitations against the Left government.
Political observers say the Youth Congress may do better if it coordinates its activities across the country. The fact that almost half of the fielded candidates won over heavyweights is enough indication that the youth wing is doing good.