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Youth Congress begins door-to-door campaign

By Our Special Correspondent

MADURAI, FEB.25. Two functionaries of the Indian Youth Congress — Randeep Nabha and Sanjay Bannerjee — on Tuesday claimed that the Congress and its allies would garner a majority of seats in the coming Lok Sabha elections and form a secular Government at the Centre, with a significant contribution coming from southern States.

Activists of the IYC launched a door-to-door campaign to reach out to the people, particularly the youngsters in the rural areas, as part of the efforts of the Congress to "expose the failure of the National Democratic Alliance Government to protect the interests of the farmers and youth", they said.

They told reporters here that the party had formed a core group of young leaders belonging to different parts of the country to meet the youth, understand their problems and strive for solutions.

According to Mr. Nabha, the electoral prospects of the Congress were bright in the southern States. "The Congress had already forged a formidable electoral alliance with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the two Communist parties in Tamil Nadu," he said, adding that the party had developed ties with parties at regional-level.

The BJP leaders were attempting to divert people's attention from genuine problems, raking up issues such as foreign origin of the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, he alleged.

During the campaign, the activists would highlight the "achievements of the previous Congress Government, even while bringing to light the failure of the NDA regime under which unemployment had increased to unprecedented levels, farmers had committed suicide despite bumper harvests and various scams surfaced", Mr.Bannerjee said.

Mr. Nabha said Disha 2004 — "Siksha and Rozgar", was the new initiative launched by the young leaders of the Congress to focus on imparting quality education and providing sustainable employment to the youth.

The party, in consultation with the young leaders from all strata of society and renowned economists, was working on a programme in this regard, he added.

"The Vajpayee Government had done little for promoting the lot of the poor, particularly those in the rural areas," Mr. Banerjee said, adding that the Government was reducing fees for the "elite Indian Institute of Management, when majority of children in the country did not have access to even basic quality education." Having understood that coalition politics had come to stay in the country, the Congress had entered into ties with regional parties, he added.

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