AAP effect: Wooing youth is Captain’s new strategy

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jan 19, 2016 21:04 IST
Capt Amarinder Singh will kick-start his programme to reach out to youth from Gurdaspur on Wednesday. (HT Photo)

Rattled by the youth power behind the surge of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab, state Congress chief Captain Amarinder will kick-start his programme to reach out to youth from Gurdaspur on Wednesday.

During their interaction at Kalanaur at 11 am, the Congress chief will also answer questions on party’s agenda for youth in the 2017 state polls. It will be followed by a meeting with farmers and farm labourers at Dera Baba Nanak, the constituency of district Congress president Sukhjinder Randhawa.

However, the party’s ambitious youth programme appears to be headed for a confrontation between the Randhawa family as Deepinder Randhawa, the MLA’s nephew who successfully contested the Punjab Youth Congress elections and was made its secretary, has shot off letters to the party high command and Indian Youth Congress leaders alleging the party has ignored the Youth Congress leadership of the area by neither making them a part of the organising committee nor inviting them to attend it.

“I have brought the matter to the notice of the party high command. I am part of the state executive of the Punjab Youth Congress but have been not even called for the interaction of our state president with youth. None of the office-bearers of the Youth Congress from the area nor its any committees have been invited,” he said.

Sukhjinder Randhawa, when contacted, said anyone can come for the youth interaction and no invites have been sent. “I have to fight elections from the area. The youth here have many problems which they want to convey to the Congress leadership. They have been ruined by unemployment and drugs. They want to know what Congress will promise in its poll agenda to them. I have not invited even the Punjab Youth Congress president and have used social media -- Facebook and Whatsapp -- to reach out to my people. It is time for leaders to listern and public to speak,” the MLA said.

Deepinder’s father, Inderjit Randhawa, the elder brother of Sukhjinder, was considered close to former state Congress chief Partap Bajwa while the latter is an Amarinder loyalist. Sukhjinder had not supported Deepinder even during the Punjab Youth Congress polls. Their father, Santokh Randhawa, was a former Punjab Congress president and state minister.

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