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Updated: December 7, 2009 12:51 IST

Rahul to rev up membership drive in central U.P.

Atiq Khan
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THE UP AGENDA: AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi at a press meet. Amid tensions between the Conress and the Uttar Pradesh government, Rahul Gandhi was at the Aligarh University on Monday. File photo
The Hindu THE UP AGENDA: AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi at a press meet. Amid tensions between the Conress and the Uttar Pradesh government, Rahul Gandhi was at the Aligarh University on Monday. File photo

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi embarks on his two-day visit to central Uttar Pradesh on Monday, a journey touted as the first step towards transforming the Congress from a mass-based party to a cadre-based one.

Strengthening the Youth Congress is the cornerstone of the new initiative, whose author is the Amethi MP himself.

During his stay in Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Gandhi will review the ongoing membership drive of the Youth Congress in 24 Lok Sabha constituencies of the central parts of the State. He will also interact with a cross-section of people, particularly the youth drawn from the OBCs, Dalits, Muslims, and those from the farming, industrial and the unorganised sectors of the economy.

He will also interact with young women hopefuls and potential candidates of the Youth Congress. Potential candidates are those who have enlisted more than 50 members.

Already, the membership drive of the Youth Congress, which concludes on December 15, has drawn a favourable response from the hopefuls with computer-savvy youth, IIM graduates, MBAs, lawyers and medicos among those who have filled in the membership forms. Reliable sources said about two lakh forms have been received from the applicants.

Recapturing power in Uttar Pradesh is crucial to Congress’ strategy and also for the success of Mr. Gandhi’s “Mission 2012.” For, the Congress leader is now going to those places where the party had fared poorly in the successive Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.

Mr. Gandhi’s first stop on Monday will be Aligarh, where he is scheduled to address the students of the Aligarh Muslim University, offer “chaddar” on the “mazaar” of Syed Ahmed Khan. From Aligarh, Mr. Gandhi will fly to Aliganj in Etah district, where he will address an interactive session with weavers to understand their problems. He will then proceed to Pallia in neighbouring sugarcane-rich Lakhimpur-Kheri district to address a meeting of young farmers. His next stop will be Bahraich. In Sitapur, he will interact with the OBC delegates. His final stop on Monday will be Hardoi. At all these places, he will interact with potential candidates of the Youth Congress.

On December 8, Mr. Gandhi will reach Lucknow, address a press meet and potential women candidates in Avadh School in Gomtinagar.

He will address the UPCC delegates at the Pradesh Congress headquarters before flying to Ambedkarnagar for a Scheduled Castes convention.

Finally, in Kanpur, Mr. Gandhi will meet young industrialists, entrepreneurs and workers from the unorganised sector.

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