The first exercise by the Congress to select the head of its student wing, NSUI, through an open application process has run into rough weather. Sources said complaints regarding shortlisting of names for the post have reached Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who has called some NSUI office-bearers for a meeting to resolve the issue.
The Congress, in a break from the past, had begun an open application process for selecting the next NSUI president. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi had set up a committee headed by AICC general secretary Mukul Wasnik to oversee the process of appointment. Anyone with one year’s experience in the NSUI could apply for the post.
The committee — including AICC secretary in-charge of NSUI Girish Chodankar, former Lok Sabha MP Meenakshi Natarajan, Krishna Allavuru, Yashasvi Mishra, Ruchi Gupta and former presidents of the student’s body — had shortlisted seven names, sources said.
Those shortlisted include NSUI vice-president Kumar Raja, general secretaries Ajay Chhikara and Hasiba Amin, secretaries Fairoz Khan and Vardhan Yadav, J&K NSUI chief Neeraj Kundan and Manish Sharma. The resentment in the NSUI, sources said, was over an alleged attempt to push Sharma’s case by some leaders who are close to Rahul. Sharma, they said, had never been an office-bearer of NSUI.
Sources said that several complaints had reached Rahul, and that it was alleged that some members including Natarajan, Allavuru and Rahul’s aide Sachin Rao were trying to push Sharma’s case.
Sharma, who is from Madhya Pradesh, said that he had never been an office-bearer but was an NSUI member during his college days. He said he had been working for the last six years, designing and executing the system for “training, internal elections, building of processes for outreach….”