Will contest election if party directs: Poonam Mahajan

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Nagpur, Oct 17 (UNI) Bharatiya Janata Yuwa Morcha (BJYM) Maharashtra unit General Secretary Poonam Mahajan today said she would contest an election if the party told her to do so.

Speaking to reporters here, Ms Mahajan said it was not for her, but for the BJP leadership to decide whether she should contest an election.

''Right now, the party's orders are to mobilise the youth in Maharashtra, and I am doing that. If the party tells me to sit at home, I will sit at home,'' she said. The decision on whether to contest for the Lok Sabha or for the Legislative Assembly would also be made by the party, Ms Mahajan said.

Replying to questions, Ms Mahajan said issues related to the youth would be included in the BJP manifesto for the Legislative Assembly elections, due in 2009 in the state. Among those would be the problem of unemployment, job-oriented education and unemployment allowance, she said, adding that the measures initiated by the BJP governments in Rajasthan and Gujarat to tackle the issues had been very successful.

However, the BJYM would not ask for any quota in the BJP tickets for the assembly elections or in the posts of office-bearers in the party set-up, Ms Mahajan told newspersons. ''Youth are encouraged to play an important role in the party anyway. A deserving youngster would get a ticket on merit,'' she said.

Ms Mahajan said that youth constituted 55 per cent of the country's population, and, therefore, could play a decisive role in the outcome of any election. The youngsters could also play a vital role in making India a super power by 2020, she said.

The BJYM had launched a membership campaign all over the country, including Maharashtra, and she was visiting Vidarbha as part of the drive, Ms Mahajan said.

She was holding a series of meetings with the organisation's activists at various places across the state, and these would be followed by division-wise conferences of youth, she said.

The organisation would hold a conference on unemployment early next year, but the venue had not been decided yet, she added.

The BJYM General Secretary began a two-day tour of Vidarbha today, during which she is scheduled to hold meetings in Nagpur, Wardha, Lakhni (district Bhandara) and Gondia.


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