With youths virtually deserting it in last Lok Sabha polls, Congress is betting big on young voters in its revival plan to counter the Narendra Modi “wave” that has led to a trail of defeats for the party. Six years after Rahul Gandhi introduced election processes in Youth Congress and NSUI, a note sent by Congress President Sonia Gandhi to all state units chiefs to work out a revival plan for the party takes into account complaints of use of money power in elections for these wings of the party.”Democratisation of Youth Congress through membership and internal elections has opened doors to a large number of youths in the party who may otherwise not have joined politics. However, the current system of elections to the Youth Congress is susceptible to subversion through the use of money and power and needs to be rectified,” the note reads. It points out that the Youth Congress presidents should also have the discretion to build their own teams instead of constraining them to work with those who had contested against them.”The party must develop a plan to mobilise youths including the new voters in 2019….the youth is increasingly focused on their personal aspirations such as jobs and the party’s messages must address their concerns.”The party’s core principles need to be presented in a manner, which responds to their aspirations and contemporary issues,” reads the note, which was prepared after Rahul held a series of consultations with almost 450 leaders across the country.While Gandhi has in a separate letter to state chiefs sought inputs from them to finalise the “agenda for action” and the way forward, the note reads that “we cannot ignore the aspirations of the sections of the urban middle class which cuts across castes and religions.” A highlight of the last general elections noted that for the first time there was addition of some 10 crore new voters and Congress leaders say that one of the reasons for the party’s crushing defeat was that young voters almost went en bloc to Modi, who projected himself as a strong leader, who can address their aspiration and create jobs for them.The note asks the state units chiefs to talk to party workers at the bottom rung to “define some tangible measures through, which the party can inspire confidence in youth, particularly with reference to job creation and their aspiration for a better life and asks them to suggest some programmes that youth Congress can take up in their states.”There should be better coordination between PCC and Youth Congress. One way is to invite Youth Congress Presidents of that level to District Congress Committee and Block Congress Committee meetings. “Youths should not be confined to Youth Congress but must be given an opportunity to contribute to the main party by increasing opportunities for participation. Efforts should be made to increase representation of youth in organisational appointment and ticket distribution,” it read.

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Congress mantra for revival: Youth voters