Rahul Gandhi’s idea of forming Youth Congress committees down to the booth level seems to have left its best days behind. From 2.66 lakh members who enrolled in the Youth Congress in the central zone of UP in 2010, the number has gone down to just 67,000 as per the figures of the recently concluded membership drive.
The number is expected to drop further, according to party sources, by another 15,000 following the scrutiny of the forms. Last time, 3.25 lakh membership applications were received but the number came down to 2.66 lakh after scrutiny. The membership drive is to be followed by the formation of 26 Lok Sabha-level committees, 13 Vidhan Sabha level committees and 41,679 booth level committees, an idea conceptualised by Rahul Gandhi himself. However, with just around 50,000 members, the idea of forming 41,679 booth level committees seems distant.
“The problem lies in the concept of forming committees down to the booth level. People might have been interested in running at even the panchayat or the ward level, but booth level fails to charm the youth,” said Tarun Patel, president of Youth Congress (Central), citing it as the main reason for the dismal numbers.
Another reason being cited is low morale among party workers due to Rahul’s unavailability in the membership drive and his overall “inaccessibility”. Initially planned for July 16 to August 13, the membership drive was first extended until August 17, and, after a poor response, it was extended indefinitely. Then, on September 29, November 2 was announced as the last date for the enrollment by returning officer Manoj Yadav. Even the waiver of fee of Rs 15 for those renewing their membership failed to attract the youth.