AICC asks youth wing to target 230 Lok Sabha seats
The Congress has asked its youth wing to focus on 230 Lok Sabha seats - those it lost by a “thin margin” in 2014, and where a large number of new voters have been enrolled ahead of the upcoming general elections.
Youth Congress president Keshav Chand Yadav said the task had been given to it by the All India Congress Committee, the party’s central unit. For this, one coordinator will be appointed for each seat and several teams will be set up at different levels from booth to constituency levels, he said. Of the 144 million crore electorate in Uttar Pradesh alone, over 1.24 million voters are expected to exercise their franchise for the first time in the 2019 elections. The total number of voters in the 18-19 age bracket in the state stands at 1.67 million.
The Youth Congress faced severe criticism from its parent organisation for its failure to connect with young voters, which was identified as one of the key reasons for the party’s debacle in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Questions were also raised about its outreach capabilities, and the Youth Congress was found to no longer be the sword arm of the party because its focus shifted from external outreach to internal processes.
The youth wing moved from the top-down approach in 1972 to a bottom-up method in 2008, when internal elections replaced the nomination process.
Youth Congress spokesperson Amrish Ranjan Pandey said the current membership of the youth wing across the country as of January 2019 is 20 million. In 2013-14, the Youth Congress had claimed of being the only youth organisation in the world to have more than 15 million members.
Meanwhile, Yadav said the another programme earmarked for the Lok Sabha polls is ‘Chalo Panchayat’, through which they will raise the alleged increase in the incidents of farmers’ suicides, unemployment, corruption, and price rise. He also said teams will try to connect through missed calls, and then reach out to them through door-to-door campaigns.
Yadav added they will demand a larger share of tickets this time. The state units have been asked to forward three names on each of the 543 Lok Sabha seats to the central leadership, he said.