Will end corruption, Rahul tells students in letter

Will end corruption, Rahul tells students in letter

Cong president reaches out to youth with an eye on 2019 LS polls

Congress President Rahul Gandhi. (DH File Photo)

Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday reached out to the youth, who had overwhelmingly voted for Narendra Modi in 2014, and urged them to join the party's Future of India campaign.

In a letter to students, Rahul hailed them as “nation builders” and promised them to put issues that confront them — such as high fees and access to a good education — on the national agenda.

Rahul's letter, which is translated in regional languages and was distributed in colleges across the country, is part of the party's Future of India (Behtar Bharat) campaign aimed at mobilising students ahead of the Lok Sabha election next year.

“We in the Congress party will ensure that you get respect and space you deserve and the support you need... You tell us the issues that matter to you and we will put them on the national agenda,” the Congress president said in the letter.

The Behtar Bharat (Better India) campaign aims at providing institutional space for students to engage with national political leadership and influence agenda for the 2019 General Elections and create meaningful political mobilisation around relevant youth issues, said Ruchi Gupta, AICC Joint Secretary in charge of National Student's Union of India, the Congress' students' wing.

She said the campaign sought to give idealistic and articulate young people a constructive political platform and a progressive sense of identity and nationalism.

Under the Behtar Bharat initiative, the Congress plans to set up youth clubs in every black level that would conduct English classes, hold meetings and discussions with leaders of different fields, career guidance workshops and organise sports coaching for the students.

Youth representatives of each of the youth clubs will hold meetings with chief ministers of the respective states to flag issues faced by students.

Ruchi said the campaign will focus on access to opportunities and mentoring at the block level, an overhaul of the examination system, access to quality and affordable higher education.

The Congress also assured students that it would be the endeavour of the party to create internship and apprenticeship opportunities for the students at select government offices at the district and block level.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, as many as 34% of young voters supported the BJP while only 19% favoured the Congress.

An estimated 133 million first time voters are expected to exercise their franchise in the Lok Sabha elections next year and Congress appears to be making a determined effort to get a larger slice of the pie.