A former Youth Congress leader on Monday created a flutter by accusing Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi of depending too much on his trusted men whom he charged with turning the student and youth wings of the party into a mess.
However, Congress' youth wing dismissed the charges as "baseless and politically motivated."
Chamala Kiran Kumar, who claimed to be the IYC general secretary of Kerala, Puducherry, Tamilnadu, Andaman Lakshadweep alleged, "Rahul ji lost human touch and he hardly recognises his national committee and moreover he depends on his trusted men to handle most of the things."
He also said Gandhi's pet project 'Aam admi ka sipahi' was a 'major flop' and his idea of transforming NSUI and Youth Congress is good but the way it has been implemented has turned the two wings of the party into a "mess".
But the Indian Youth Congress was quick to clarify that Chamala is "not a member of the organisation" as he was dropped from the position of General Secretary on November 17 last year for "non-performance of duties assigned, disciplinary issues and hiding serious criminal charges" at the time of appointment.
"IYC has no relationship whatsover with Chamala. And the contents of the press note circulated by him are baseless and politically motivated," IYC permanent secretary Nitin Sharma said in a press release.
In his detailed press note, Chamala said that Gandhi's trusted men adopted the corporate policy of "Hire, test and fire" which is not at all a suitable concept for a political party where people work voluntarily.
He also accused Gandhi of failing to fulfil his promise of accommodating 30 per cent of the youth in upcoming general elections and local bodies.
Chamala said, "In the present system if people are planning to become leaders in Youth Congress and NSUI, they should have money to buy membership and manage election. The average cost to become state president in bigger state is in crores and in smaller states at least Rs 20-50 lakhs."
He said though Rahul Gandhi was running the present youth Congress and NSUI on laptops and Blackberry's with fast communication, reporting and updating websites on a regular basis, "but frankly speaking youth Congress for last two years is only on reports and websites not at the grassroots."
Alleging a coterie culture in Youth Congress, he said "whoever is straight forward and wants to point out the issues has been kept away from the organization so rudely by his coterie."
Chamala said it was "most humiliating" that he was kept away from his duties as general secretary for the last 4 months without giving proper letter or any communication and rued that he was not even given appointment by Rahul Gandhi.
He said that the only remedy for the "ills" plaguing IYC is that Rahul Gandhi should personally interfere in the system without depending on anyone.
"He should come out of the people's influence who have no idea about the grassroots. I feel he should not listen to their suggestions, he has to take expert ideas from past and former youth leaders who have a lot of experience with the grassroots," Chamala said.
However, an IYC functionary speaking on the condition of anonymity, pointed out Chamala's proximity with Jaganmohan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh, adding that the former Youth Congress leader was trying to malign IYC for political reasons after he was axed.