Here’s news that every Congressman would hate to hear, what to talk of share. The recent about month-and-a-half-long membership drive of the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), the students’ wing of the Congress, has failed to enrol even a single member in eight of total 21 districts of the state.
The districts where the NSUI has scored a zero include Hisar and Sirsa, the hubs of students’ politics. The other districts where the students’ body failed to open its account are Mahendergarh, Jind, Panchkula, Fatehabad, Kaithal and Bhiwani. In Kurukshetra, the NSUI managed to rope in only some 800-odd members.
In other 12 districts, the students’ outfit managed about 4,900 new members Rohtak, 376 in Sonepat, about 1,900 in Panipat, 509 in Mewat, 2,500 in Jhajjar, 5,500 in Faridabad, 809 in Rewari, 590 in Palwal, 6,000 in Ambala, 6,100 in Gurgaon and 660 in Karnal. The district with maximum enrolment is Yamunanagar, where the NSUI managed 12,800 members. The total is more than 10,000 members less as compared to last year’s membership drive in which more than 53,000, students got themselves enrolled in the NSUI.
NSUI’s Haryana president Sandeep Boora and national secretary Amit Singh admit that there was a zero enrolment in some districts of Haryana.
Singh, however, told HT that the membership drive was fair and no one forced students to be a member. “We want the students to be convinced with the organisation’s philosophy and are interested to be part of NSUI and the Congress,” he said. “Some students must have enrolled themselves but it appears that their papers were not accepted due to some technical reason,” he added.
The reaction of the NSUI leadership notwithstanding, several leaders, who did not want to be named, said they were shocked at the development. They looked askance at the said drive suspecting that there was either a glitch in process or there was no enthusiasm among the college and university students towards the organisation, despite the Rahul Gandhi brigade pursuit.
They held that it was a shocker to the NSUI in Haryana which was ruled by the Congress for 10 years – till recently – which still has 15 MLAs and whose state president Ashok Tanwar, former MP from Sirsa, which too had zero membership this time.
The RG model
Several NSUI leaders said the enrolment and election system of the NSUI was designed by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi six years ago and the membership drive was held every two years. According to the system, the membership forms are downloaded from the NSUI portal, filled by interested students and submitted during the drive to the district returning officers designated by the national body of the NSUI, which also has some office-bearers of the All-India Congress Committee. Every member has to renew his membership in every drive. This year, the drive was held from January 2015 till mid-February, 2015.