AICC general secretary Tariq Anwar on Monday inaugurated the membership drive of the Congress in Kerala, calling upon party workers to strengthen the organisation by ensuring high enrollment.
Admitting as many new members as possible is also essential to play a meaningful role as Opposition in Kerala as well as at the national level, Mr. Anwar said, launching the drive by handing over a membership book to Leader of Opposition V. D. Satheesan. KPCC president K. Sudhakaran and senior leaders including Oommen Chandy, Ramesh Chennithala and Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan were present.
Mr. Anwar warned against treating the drive as a formality as ‘some political parties’ do. Commitment and a knowledge of the Congress ideology is important, as the Congress has always stood for democracy, socialism, communal harmony.
“So we have to build our organisation accordingly,” he said.
The membership drive, conducted ahead of the Congress organisational elections, will be on till March 31.
The organisational polls would serve to strengthen and energise the party, Mr. Sudhakaran, who presided, said.
Mr. Chandy urged party workers to take a pledge that the organisational polls would be conducted by upholding democratic values. In these changed times, even cadre parties are facing problems during elections and meetings, he said.
Mr. Chandy recalled that he had first held a post in the Congress as returning officer for the Puthupally PCC mandalam in 1964.
He was district secretary of KSU at the time. “No one opposed my appointment or that of any of the other returning officers. Back then, everybody had absolute faith that nothing undemocratic would happen. The leadership too believed that it was better to remain without a position rather than obtaining it through undemocratic means,” he said.
Mr. Satheesan said that the membership drive was sure to draw ‘thousands’' of people from other political parties to the Congress. He also called for a united effort to make the membership drive and the organisational elections a success.
Organisational elections would ensure leaderships at all levels of the party that enjoy the support of the workers and the public, Mr. Chennithala said.