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Is Rahul Gandhi targeting youth and urban voters?
Finally much waited crowing of Nehru-Gandhi successor Rahul Gandhi as the leading of light of the 127-year-old Congress party was formalized at Congress conclave in Jaipur. By appointing him the Vice President of the party, though there is no such provision in the party constitution, party supremo Smt. Sonia Gandhi has given clear indication that her son is ready to lead the party in 2014 and also to take up the administration of the country.

Junior Gandhi, who was till now projected as non-interested politician to take up official positions and more like to interact with youth, students, villagers and women and discuss their problems in day-to-day life, has for the first time tried to project himself as hope of the party to lead the nation through his maiden speech.

By preferring to speak mostly in English and also touching upon the issues to be attracted by the urban population, he has given indication that his focus would be to attract urban voters basically. Till now through his visits to rural and tribal belts and houses of the marginalized sections of the society, he has tried to identify himself with such population. But for the first time, he tried to address the urban population.

Keen observers felt that his logic has its own strategy. It may be recalled that Congress party’s success in 2009 is credited mostly to its good performance in urban areas. Nothing much change was seen in the rural and tribal belts. Except Bangalore, in almost all major urban areas, Congress had won. However, after 2009 polls, various indications show that Congress has been losing its grip on urban voters.

Agitations against corruption initiated by Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal and various opposition parties mainly attracted the attention of urban voters. This is likely to adversely affect the Congress prospects in 2014. Not much negative is found among rural voters against Congress. Due to schemes like MNREGA, the party in fact, is making some incursions into rural voters.

By touching issues like corruption, centralized administration, bureaucratic hurdles and power-politics, Rahul Gandhi attempted to win over the hearts of the urban population. He has given clear signals that he is determined to bring political reforms, while since 1991 the focus was on economic reforms only. By shifting focus, he seems to be confident that he can make a point against political opponents.

Rahul Gandhi also attempted to win the hearts of the youth and showed that he is trying to emerge as the lone youth icon in the present Indian political scene. By giving indications that seniors in the party should get ready to give space for youth and promising them a better placement in all fields, he expressed his determination to attract the youth.

Incidentally, he hardly referred to the issues related to women and also land-related struggles. It was his mother Smt. Sonia Gandhi who tried to win the hearts of women by referring to growing atrocities against women and also expressing her determination to get the approval of Women’s Reservation Bill in the Parliament. She also referred to various land issues and stressed the need to understand the concerns of those who are agitating on such issues.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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anna hazare
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