With a view to mobilising youths and launching an agitation against the state government on the issue of unemployment and corruption, the state Congress on Wednesday started an NGO – U-Army or what it calls an “army of unemployed youths”. The event coincided with the birth anniversary of late prime minister and Congress leader Rajiv Gandhi.
This is the second NGO launched by the state Congress in a fortnight. Two week ago, the party had launched the Gujarat Jan Sangharsh Sena to take on the state BJP government on various issues, including killing of cows and illegal sale of liquor. Both NGOs have been conceived by Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Shankersinh Vaghela.
Addressing a gathering of activists from the state youth Congress and the National Students of India (NSUI) at the Tagore auditorium here, various Congress leaders targeted the state government saying that it had done nothing to ensure jobs to educated youths though the party had been in power in the state for the last 20 years.
They said that despite tall claims made by former chief minister Narendra Modi, there were 7.5 lakh educated unemployed youths in Gujarat as per figures available with employment exchanges in the state. If the figures of other unemployed people were taken together, the number of unemployed people would go up to 40 lakh in the state, claimed to be a “model of development” by the BJP.
Urging the youth Congress and NSUI activists, Vaghela asked them to approach the unemployed youths and launch a movement for the rights of unemployed people as also those given jobs on fixed salary because they were “partially employed”.
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“Tell this group that you have voted for BJP, but it has not given them jobs,” Vaghela said. “Let’s use U-Army as a weapon for launching a movement against the state BJP government and bring change in the state,” Vaghela said.
Appealing to the youths to get ready for a political fight to claim their share by bringing a political change in the state, Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhwadia said “The state government’s annual budget is Rs 1.25 lakh crore and the youths have a share in it.”
He said that ever since BJP government came to power in the state, it had commercialised education, making it beyond the reach of the common and the poor people.
Former state party president Siddharth Patel also addressed the audience.
Congress leaders Himmatsinh Patel and C J Chavda have been appointed coordinators and Indravijaysinh Gohil has been appointed convener of the U-Army. Umakant Mankad, Shahnawaz Sheikh, Gulabsinh Rajput, Mansinh Dodiya, Adityasinh Gohil, Rohan Gupta, Lakhabhai Rabari, Amit Chaudhary, Anand Chaudhary, Kalpesh Jani, Manisha Parikh and Sonaldevi Verma have been appointed as coordination committee members.