Projecting itself as the party with “yuva soch” and aiming to tap youngsters, especially the new voters, the Youth Congress and state Congress in Uttar Pradesh are now looking for “young” and “winnable” candidates for at least 15-20 Lok Sabha seats in the state. The state has 80 Lok Sabha constituencies.
The party aims to field “young candidates”, who are mainly leaders of Youth Congress, or NSUI, young professionals or young social workers between the age group of 25-43 years.
Sources said, the party is considering to field about 80-100 such “young” candidates across the country. In UP, it aims to field such candidates from seats where the party does not have a strong base.
Youth Congress volunteers were given the task of conducting survey to identify such seats and after several rounds of screening committee meetings over past few days in Delhi, 15-20 such seats have been identified in UP.
“Over 200 applications had come from different states, out of which about 100 were found eligible including about 20 from UP.
Youth congress volunteers are now conducting survey about acceptability of these probable candidates among the locals,” said a senior leader.
“Even in 2012 assembly elections in the state, young candidates came up with better results than the outsiders, who were brought from other political parties in the name of winnability. Thus, party has given us the task of conducting survey on probable young candidates, who can be fielded from the state,” said Ankit Parihar, president of Central Zone of Youth Congress, who is also part of the state screening committee of the party as “Youth Congress representative”.
Citing example of candidates with Youth Congress background, who were able to make it to UP Assembly in 2012, he said, “Lalitesh Pati Tripathi (Mirzapur), Ajay Kumar (Kushinagar), Nadeem Jawed (Jaunpur) and Mukesh Srivastava (Bahraich) are some young faces who were elected MLAs.”
A senior party leader said the experiment of bring in outsiders in 2012 assembly election failed to give the desired results. “Thus there is no harm in trying our luck on young candidates, who are long associated with our own party and have the capability as well. The final decision on these seats is likely to be made by second week of March,” he said.