GUWAHATI, Sept 20 - With the Lok Sabha elections on the horizon, the opposition Congress will launch a massive outreach programme across the State, with special emphasis on tapping the young voters. The party is also planning to roll-out a fund collection drive at the booth level.
Sources in the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) said �booth sahayogis� tasked with visiting voters at their homes will be appointed at all the booths.
�We have 26,000 booth committees in Assam. �Booth sahayogis� will be appointed at each of the booths and each �booth sahayogi� will be tasked to visit at least 10 households and conduct door-to-door campaign,� a State Congress office-bearer told The Assam Tribune.
He said the target is to tap the young voters in the 18 to 40 years of age bracket, including the first-time voters.
�The �booth sahayogis� will meet the voters face-to-face and discuss issues related to the State, the particular constituency as well as the locality where the particular voter reside. Leaflets will be distributed highlighting the failures and the unfulfilled promises of the Narendra Modi-led government, besides trying to provide the voters with an alternative vision. Our emphasis this time will be on door-to-door campaigning,� said the leader.
He added that this will be carried out simultaneously with the ongoing �BJP Sarkar, Uttar Diyak Hisab Diyak� programme which is being carried out across Assam by the Congress to �expose the BJP governments at both the Centre and the State�.
It is noteworthy that the Congress party�s plan to deploy booth sahayogis comes at a time when the ruling BJP in Assam has decided to widen the �chai pe charcha� (conversation over tea) campaign which had brought it huge dividends during the 2014 general elections.
�Priority would be given to hold interactions with the young voters as the youths form the biggest segment which has lost out due to the failures of the BJP regime,� added the leader.
Congress sources, meanwhile, admitted that being out of power at both the Centre and the State has impacted the party�s finances. With a view to address the problem, the party has also decided to undertake a �crowd fund-raising� programme at the booth level.
�Booth committees have been directed to seek donations from the masses. The Congress party is a party of the common people in contrast to the BJP which, during the past few years, has proved its pro-corporate leanings. We also believe that the crowd fund-raising programme will take us close to the people on the ground,� said a senior Congress leader.
All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in-charge for Assam and former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat and APCC president Ripun Bora will hold a meeting with all District Congress and Block Congress presidents here on September 23 to give a final shape to the outreach programme.
The Congress party is targeting to win 11 out of the 14 Lok Sabha seats from Assam in the 2019 polls. During the last Parliamentary elections in 2014, the party had managed to win from only three constituencies in the State.