A section of the Congress leaders here have expressed reservations over the party’s system of holding internal elections for choosing office-bearers, alleging that it is creating “fissures” within the party cadre and only candidates with money power are winning these polls. Holding organisational polls for the election of office-bearers of the front outfits- Indian Youth Congress (IYC) and NSUI was the first major reform introduced by party Vice President Rahul Gandhi. According to party sources, the internal elections were meant to address the grievance that the culture of nominations had led to nepotism and crippled meritocracy in the youth bodies.
However, some leaders are unhappy with the present process. Brijmohan Sharma, a local Congress leader said, “This exercise of electing the leader at local level is only creating fissures among the party cadre. It is creating a parallel force within the party. Ideally, senior political bosses should select the leaders directly after getting the credentials of the aspirant leaders.”Another senior leader, requesting anonymity claimed, “this exercise of electing leaders has actually backfired. The process is a farce and only candidates with money power are winning the elections.”
Mumbai Congress in-charge Ritwik Joshi, however, dismissed the allegations and said the election process is the best way to create a leader who comes from a non-political background. Indian Youth Congress president Raja Brar recently began the process of electing the Mumbai Youth Congress Committees and the party has fixed April 24 as the deadline for the membership drive.
However, considering the ongoing examinations in colleges and educational institutions, some leaders have demanded that the deadline for the membership be extended.
Talking to PTI, Sudhanshu Bhatt, the social-media in-charge of the city Congress said, “We found that most of the college youths are currently busy in their examination activities and cannot be reached. Therefore, we have requested the Mumbai Congress in-charge Ritwik Joshi to extend the membership drive deadline.”
When asked about it, Ritwik Joshi said that he has received several submissions seeking the extension of the date for the membership drive. “I have forwarded the demand to the senior leaders in Delhi for approval.”
According to party rules, after the membership drive, an active member would become eligible to elect the state president, state general secretary, district president, district general secretary and assembly elections. “The date of election would be announced after membership drive is over and the data is collected,” said Joshi.