ABVP's lies are eroding democratic values across campuses, says Indian Youth Congress chief Keshav Chand Yadav

Ahead of the big election in 2019, the Youth Congress has its task cut out. It has to wean young voters away from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and make them repose trust in the Congress again. It has to carry the message of the party to various cross-sections of the population. Also, it has to mobilise the voters to the booth in the forthcoming Assembly polls in five states.

In the recently concluded two-day national executive in Jaipur under a newly-appointed team of office bearers, the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) — the youth wing and one of the key frontal organisations of the Congress party — has chalked out a comprehensive strategy to implement the decisions which were taken under the guidance of Congress president Rahul Gandhi during the meet.

The national president of IYC, Keshav Chand Yadav, who had also been its general secretary, spoke to Firstpost about the plans and programme of the youth wing.

What are three major decisions taken during the two-day National Executive of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) which concluded recently in Jaipur?

Three resolutions were passed in the national executive. First, steps are to be taken to safeguard our nation’s constitutional values and maintain social and communal harmony. The steps taken by the BJP-led governments – whether at the Centre or in the states—have been undemocratic, anti-national and created fissures among religious and social communities.

Second, keeping the forthcoming elections in mind, the IYC will visit every nook and corner of the country including villages, and ask people whether the promises made by Narendra Modi government have been fulfilled or not, vis-à-vis what the Congress would do if it came to power. We’re doing this through our nationwide door-to-door campaign — ‘Ghar Ghar Chalo Abhiyaan’.

Keshav Chandra Yadav

IYC national president Keshav Chand Yadav addressing the Congress national executive in Jaipur. Image procured by Debobrat Ghose/Firstpost

And third, at the organisational level, we’ll have discussions and dialogues on the ideological battle between the BJP-RSS combine and the Congress. We’ll carry forward the message to the public about the false promises and lies spread by the Modi government and the BJP-RSS. It’s not just in India that such things are happening; many countries have been facing a similar kind of situation, where the governments are resorting to lies. An example is US president Donald Trump. This is a dangerous trend, which needs to be exposed, and we’ll do it.

Unless development takes place in the real sense, people will protest, and those voices can’t be suppressed. Without real development, talking about world peace is meaningless.

Rahul Gandhi, after taking over as the Congress president, had emphasised on strengthening the party’s frontal organisations, including the IYC…

While addressing the national executive, Rahul ji emphasised on strengthening the organisational structure by creating a conducive environment within the organisation, and through hard work. He said that hard work won’t go unrewarded. We’re working on a plan related to our work, funding, reaching out to masses, disseminating the party’s core ideology and values, etc.

How will you revive the decreasing presence of Congress in college and university campuses that once used to be strongholds?

Due to the lies being spread by the BJP and RSS-affiliated students’ body Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, democratic values across campuses are ending. This kind of social change is a matter of great concern. Our students’ wing—National Students’ Union of India — is working towards keeping values alive by organising seminars, symposia, meets, etc.

How will the IYC plan to fight the youth wing of the BJP?

There can’t be any comparison between us and the BJP’s youth wing, as the latter thrives on spreading hatred, lies and polarisation of the society on communal lines. Following the footsteps of the BJP, their youth wing is working completely in a reverse direction. The IYC, in coordination with youth wings of 14 major national and regional political parties under the umbrella of United Youth Front (UYF), organised a massive national protest rally ‘Desh Bachao, Yuva Bachao’ (Save Nation, Save Youth) in Delhi on 8 October. It was against the authoritarian Modi-led NDA government. In future too, whenever the need arises, UYF — a collective political platform of the youth — will hold rallies and protest agitations in the country.

With the receding popularity of the Congress among young voters between 18 to 25 years, does the Youth Congress have any plan to convince them to vote for the party in the forthcoming elections?

Youth have begun to respond to the Congress, after seeing the four-year rule of the BJP-led government at the Centre. During the Karnataka Assembly election, our vote share increased from 36 percent to 37 percent. It’s the youth who have been able to realise the ground situation in the country at present. Growing unemployment is one of the key issues bothering them. The Youth Congress will go among them and tell them the truth, and discuss our roadmap with them.

What role IYC would play in the forthcoming Assembly polls in five states this year and in 2019 Lok Sabha election?

The period of one-and-half months before Assembly elections this year in five states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram will be crucial for us. Besides strengthening our organisation up to the block and village level, we’ll strongly emphasise on our ‘Ghar Ghar Chalo Abhiyaan’, reach out to voters and tell them what changes Congress want to initiate and expose the BJP government on issues like the Rafale deal scam, exorbitant rise in fuel prices, atrocities against women, Dalits and minorities, BJP-sponsored crimes, communal violence, unemployment, inflation, and false promises made by Modi. IYC will expand its support base and ensure mobilisation up to the booth level. Immediately after state polls, we’ll work out a larger programme for the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

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Updated Date: Oct 12, 2018 19:56:15 IST

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