The internal election system, introduced in the Youth Congress by Rahul Gandhi ostensibly to end the culture of nepotism and patronage, has turned counter-productive, the Youth Congress in Kerala has said. It claimed the election system created a leadership that lacked “political background, organisational understanding and social commitments”.
The scathing criticism was part of a resolution adopted by the Kerala Youth Congress at the end of a three-day leadership camp in Thiruvananthapuram. It demanded a thorough restructuring of the entire election process to inject political, social and democratic thought and wisdom in it.
“Leaderships emerge, they cannot be made. The leadership has to have strength, experience and will to face challenges and take decisions,” the resolution said. Without taking names, it said the responsibility of holding elections should be taken away from “company executives with no practical political understanding” and given to those who have “political experience”.
The IYC had roped in the Foundation for Advanced Management of Elections (FAME), an independent NGO run by ex-election commissioners J M Lyngdoh, T S Krishnamurthy, N Gopalswamy and K J Rao, to oversee the election process.
“Internal elections gave wings to the dreams of youngsters who wished to bring the Youth Congress out of the rotten era when the culture of nepotism and patronage ruled the roost. It re-energised the dormant outfit. Professional tools like unit management system was introduced. But it has all turned out be counter-productive,” it said.
“What the Youth Congress requires is leaders who understand the pulse of the people and not grading systems,” it added.
Sources in the Youth Congress national leadership said the criticism was constructive and indicated changes in the election process are on the anvil.
The changes include de-linking the election of Youth Congress president from that of junior posts. Under the present system, the candidate who secures the highest number of votes is elected the president, while the runner-up is named vice-president and the third place candidate is appointed general secretary. This has resulted in those who lose not cooperating with the president. Instead, there is now a plan to introduce panels with candidates for each post.