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CWC meet debates on need to tap into youth vote

Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat, AICC General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad during the Congress Working Committee meeting, in New Delhi. FIle

Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat, AICC General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad during the Congress Working Committee meeting, in New Delhi. FIle | Photo Credit: PTI

Attracting the youth to revive the grand old party was one of the key points that emerged out of Sunday’s meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), a source familiar with the proceedings said on Monday. Senior leader Jairam Ramesh raised the issue while speaking on the party’s declining electoral fortunes and asked to focus on the youth segment.

Agreeing with Mr. Ramesh, party general secretary for Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, is said to have informed the CWC that most of the party’s candidates were below 45 years.

In Uttar Pradesh, the party had focussed on the youth and women vote by fielding 40% of women candidates and announced a separate youth manifesto. Though these became a talking point in the campaign, they did not translate into seats or vote share.

The Congress won only two seats in the 403-member House and managed a little over two per cent of votes.

Given that the Congress was a marginal player for over three decades in Uttar Pradesh, many argued, Ms. Vadra’s focus was to revive the organisation rather than winning seats.

At the CWC meet, former party chief Rahul Gandhi is said to have agreed with the proposition that the party needs to tap into the youth vote.

‘Situation very serious’

The CWC meeting, convened to discuss the party’s decimation in the recent Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa, had adopted a resolution that the situation is “very serious”.

The Congress president will undertake immediate corrective measures to strengthen the organisation and a chintan shivir (brainstorming session) will be held to prepare for all the coming elections this year, next year and the Lok Sabha polls of 2024, party general secretary K.C. Venugopal had said after the CWC meeting.


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Printable version | Jun 30, 2022 6:48:51 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cwc-meet-debates-on-need-to-tap-into-youth-vote/article65225598.ece