Rajasthan Cong. to share membership fee

Special Correspondent

Party resorts to decentralisation of resources

JAIPUR: After a gap of many years, the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee has decided to share the revenue from membership fees with the bloc committees in the State. Nearly 250 hitherto fund-starved bloc committees would be the beneficiaries of the decision.

The move is a momentous one as far as the Congress Party's inner democracy and decentralisation of resources are concerned. The amount involved too is no mean sum considering that a 40 per cent share of Rs.1 crore collected as fees for active membership in the party in Rajasthan would mean Rs.40 lakhs to the bloc committees.

"The Congress constitution has such a provision. We are trying to follow that," PCC president B.D.Kalla told The Hindu. "We want the blocs to take up more responsibilities and spread their activities to the gram panchayat levels," added Mr.Kalla who convened a meeting of bloc presidents here on Monday.

The party has over 1 lakh active members in Rajasthan. The number of ordinary members is 25 times more as each active member has to enrol 25 ordinary members.

As such, the 40- odd District Congress Committees (DCCs) also would be getting their share of 25 per cent of the membership money after a long gap. As per the party constitution, 10 per cent of the income from the membership has to be sent to the All India Congress Committee. The PCC can keep 25 per cent with it.

Rameshwarlal Bhakar, bloc president of Deedwana in Nagaur district, termed the move a boon to the party at grassroots level. "Funds make all the difference when it comes to day-to-day activity," Mr.Bhakar, who was here to attend the meeting of bloc presidents at the State party headquarters, Indira Gandhi Bhawan, observed.

While agreeing for decentralisation of resources, the PCC seemingly is getting tough with its defaulters as well.

The party has sent notices to former MLAs who are yet to pay a share of their salaries to the party fund