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Millennium Post

It’s official: prince’s charm not working anymore

Is the Economist magazine right in saying that the Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi lacks political aptitude? If numbers are anything to go by, then the recent initiative taken by the Youth Congress for open membership paints a dismissal picture of the organisation and may certify the magazine's conclusion.

The open membership was started by the Youth Congress in the first week of August, and in over a month the organisation has been able to add just 22,000 new members across the country. Whereas previously in membership drives there have been additions of a few lakh new members from every state and that too in a similar period of one month. As of now, the Youth Congress boasts of over one crore members across the country.

The magic of Gandhi seems to be waning, as in recent times the membership drives of the Youth Congress have nosedived. In the case of open membership, the state which has been able to enrol the maximum members is Karnataka with 5,200 members, followed by Maharashtra with 4,900 members. Tamil Nadu  has thrown up only a few hundred new members.

The situation seems so bad in some states that the membership drive has been extended from one-month period to indefinitely. This has happened in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand. In the case of the latter state, the number of members has come down from a few lakh to a few thousand. In Tamil Nadu, the membership has fallen by one tenth and in Gujarat by about one third.

In open membership, new members can enrol with the party at any time of the year, unlike the practise in which membership drives are initiated just before the internal organisational elections. In the open membership a member can enrol either online or offline. 'People used to say that they can't become members once the election process is over and they had to wait for one year, so we started the open membership where youth can join whenever he want,’ said the Youth Congress president Rajeev Satav.

Sources have also said that within a year, the Youth Congress will do away with membership drives that are initiated before elections and will have open memberships throughout the year.
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