NSUI set to begin annual session in Jaipur tomorrow: Two-day conference aims to counter BJP's youth outreach

The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), the students’ body of the Congress is preparing itself to execute the wishes of the party president Rahul Gandhi. In the recent plenary session of the party in New Delhi, Rahul had emphasised on the power of youth to revitalise the grand old party.

Taking a cue from its party president, the NSUI — also a frontal organisation of the party — is channelising its energy for the general elections in 2019.

The NSUI’s annual session in Jaipur is expected to have a gathering of around 10,000 students, youth leaders, Congress MLAs and MPs, and heads of all the frontal organisations of the party. The session, named Inquilab, will be held on 9 and 10 April.

Interestingly, a two-day conference of the BJP Yuva Morcha began in Jaipur on 7 April, days before the NSUI session. These back-to-back conferences are being seen as a serious attempt by the Congress to give the BJP a tough fight for the youth vote share.

“On the footprints of our leader Rahul Gandhi ji, the NSUI believes in fighting for the rights of the students on the basis of truth and morals. In this two-day session, NSUI will disseminate the message and decisions taken by the Congress president during the party’s plenary session, to all its cadres from across the country. It will be a training camp for our cadres in the run-up to the 2019 general election, in which first time voters will make a big difference,” NSUI national president Fairoz Khan told Firstpost.

 NSUI set to begin annual session in Jaipur tomorrow: Two-day conference aims to counter BJPs youth outreach

The NSUI poster for its 'Inquilab' conference. Image procured by Debobrat Ghose/Firstpost

“This government has been following a pattern of suppressing voices of dissent and controlling the freedom of expression of the younger generation. We’ll fight to regain the democratic rights of the people and also take appropriate steps to stop discrimination in the campuses created by the communal forces on the grounds of caste, creed, colour and gender,” he added.

During the conference, the NSUI cadres will be provided training on connecting with voters at the grassroots, mobilising them and communicating to voters about the policies of the Congress party.

“Inquilab is the first-of-its-kind conference, as the NSUI is calling all its elected office bearers starting from college units to the national team. This is Rahul ji’s brain child and the aim of the conference is to bring a revolutionary change in the organisation. Former NSUI leaders who have become MLAs and MPs and AICC leaders will participate in this conference,” said Neeraj Mishra, NSUI communication in-charge.

The agenda of the two-day conference will be to raise demands for relaxation of age to contest Vidhan Sabha and Lok Sabha elections; setting up of a National Students’ Commission similar to National Women’s Commission and SC/ST commission; etc.

“The students community is facing lots of problems, but our demands are not being resolved. Examples of these problems are Hyderabad University’s NSUI president being debarred from taking the examination; the death of Rohith Vemula leading to Dalit protests across India; exorbitant hike in fees in universities; etc. However, there is no mechanism in place to resolve such issues in a speedy manner. So, we’ll demand for a students’ commission. We’ll pass a couple of resolutions at the end of the conference,” he said.

Rahul Gandhi during the plenary session of the Congress in March had emphasised on focussing on youth, women and Dalits to strengthen the party ahead of the 2019 election. Though the Congress won a couple of recent bypolls and gave a tough fight to the ruling BJP in Gujarat, it still has a long way to go. The party had a dismal performance during the recent elections in the North East.

Moreover, the NSUI would have to rebuild and reorganise itself at the Centre and in the states, to counter the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), an affiliate of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at college and university elections. The RSS is known for its grassroots connectivity, which has helped the BJP to win state after state, and the ABVP acts on the ground level during elections.

Following the Congress president’s advice, the NSUI shall chalk out plans in Jaipur to strengthen its students’ force at the ground-level.

“Besides the 2019 election, our focus will be on upcoming Assembly elections in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan,” added Mishra.

Updated Date: Apr 08, 2018 16:24:46 IST