Barring the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs),elections to the post of office-bearers of the state unit of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) will be held in two phases on March 31 and April 5,alike any normal election conducted by the Election Commission of India (ECI).
There will be ballot papers with election symbols allotted to each contestant. Voters from the youth wing will have to just put their stamp on the symbol of the leader they want to elect. The ballot papers will then be folded and put in the ballot boxes kept at the polling booths.
On the pattern of the formal elections conducted by ECI,the Youth Congress has also invited nomination from contestants,and has screened the applications before allotting symbols to them.
The symbols allotted include glass,iron press,jar,drum,road-roller,pressure cooker,kite,spoon,guitar,sewing machine,table lamp,whistle and toffee,among others.
The youth wing has also prepared a list of voters of each assembly and parliamentary areas which will be made available at poll booths of the respective areas.
Voters will be allowed to exercise their right to vote only after their names are found in the voters list. They will also have to produce the identity card issued by the party or any other identity verification.
Before allowing the voter in the polling booths,the index finger of the left hand will be marked with indelible Mysore violet ink,in a bid to prevent bogus voting.
A large quantity of the ink has already been procured and distributed at the different polling booths.
A total of 3,700 nominations for office-bearers have been finalised after the screening. The maximum nominations have been received in Ahmedabad and Surat cities.
A total of over 500 polling booths have been set up all over the 182 Assembly constituencies in the state,with returning officers from among the Youth Congress members given the responsibility to conduct the polls.
As elections for Parliamentary seat office-bearers and state level office-bearers will be held on April 5,nominations are yet to be completed. The Youth Congress has also informed the state election department about their elections.
Under the new system adopted by the Youth Congress,each Assembly and Parliamentary seat will elect eight office-bearers,including a president,a vice-president,a general secretary and five other general secretaries reserved for women (general category),SC/ST women,minority candidate and Other Backward Classes (OBCs),to ensure broader representation from all sections of society.
The candidate polling the highest votes will be appointed president,followed by the vice-president and the general secretary. The same procedure will be adopted for the reserved post of general secretaries.
A total of seven lakh Youth Congress members,about 70 per cent of them totally new,enrolled during a month long membership drive covering 95 per cent of the villages and 100 per cent of urban centres,will cast their votes.
Youth Congress national president Ashok Tanwar,who is in Gujarat for the last fortnight to oversee the election process,told Newsline that this is for the first time that any youth organisation is conducting its office bearers elections in a professional manner.
He said the process will ensure the election of those candidates who are popular among the members of the organisation,while eliminating those even if they are connected with influential political families. He added that the new electoral system for the youth body was evolved by the New Delhi-based Foundation for Advance Management of Elections with former chief election commissioners J M Lyngdoh,K B Krishnamurthy and K J Rao on its board of directors.
He added that the new system of reorganising the youth wing of the party was aimed at rejuvenating the party from the grassroots level under the advice of the three former election commissioners. With the overhauling of the youth wing,the parent party would also be strengthened because it was mostly the Youth Congress leaders who joined the Indian National Congress,he said.
Tanwar further said that the new system will encourage youths from all strata to join the party as it intended to provide equal opportunity to everybody to rise and grow in the party irrespective of their