New Delhi: Having faced flak for not providing a “helping hand” to the parent party during the 2014 Lok Sabha and subsequent elections, the Youth Congress has launched a campaign to reconnect with the young voters in five states going to polls in April-May this year.
The campaign — launched from Assam on January 22-23 — will take Youth Congress president Amarinder Singh Raja Brar and his team to 200 districts across the country this year alone.
“The target is to complete all the districts in the country in the next three years,” Brar said. India has about 650 districts.
The youth wing of the Congress had come under severe criticism from party seniors for not coming to the aid of the party when it was fighting one of the most difficult elections.
The general refrain of the Congress leaders was that the youth wing was full of people who prefer armchair politics and shy away from agitations and the heat and dust of a campaign.
“We need to change that perception. We will definitely live up to our reputation of being the sword arm of the Congress party,” Brar said.
The Youth Congress leaders have also toured Kerala, which is one of the five states going to polls in April-May. Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are the other states.
The decision to launch a nationwide campaign came after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi asked Brar to reactivate the youth wing cadre and reconnect with the aspirational youth who are widely believed to have moved away from the party in the wake of the anti-corruption movement launched by Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal in 2011.
Ironically a year later, the Youth Congress had boasted of being the only youth organisation in the world to have more than 1.3 crore (13 million) members.
Brar said he and other Youth Congress leaders will campaign extensively in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab where assembly elections are due in 2017.
“In Punjab, we have just started a programme called ‘Kuch suniye, kuch sunaiye, Punjab ko bachaye’ to reconnect with the youth,” he said.