New Delhi: Congress will begin its nation-wide membership drive from October 16.

A decision to this effect was announced in the meeting of party general secretaries and in-charges of the states at the AICC headquarters on Saturday, which chalked out plans to carry out this mammooth exercise that aims at increasing the membership of the party by at least 25 percent in all states.

Congress currently has an estimated membership of around four crore, a senior party leader said.

The membership drive is a part of organizational elections. This is for the first that the members will be enrolled for a term of five years instead of three years.

A decision was taken in the Pleanary Session of the AICC in Burari in December 2010 to increase the tenure of members from three years to five years.

The decision comes at a time when Assembly elections are to be held in a number of states including the crucial Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told media that the plenary had approved a decision to increase the term of all Congress office bearers including the party President to five years.

"The decision to increase the term of members and office bearers across the board for five years needed amendments in the party Constiution and these have been incorporated now. The general secretaries and state in-charges were also briefed about these amendents," Dwivedi, who is also the AICC general secretary in-charge of the Organisation said.

The Plenary had also decided to do away with the practice of having two types of members primary and active in the party.

As per the earlier practice, a person was first made primary member and then after fulfilling certian criteria including enrolling 25 primary members was made active member thereby becoming eligible to fight elections.

The decision to bring uniformity in membership and simplify the process was taken as it was felt that the earlier practice encouraged fake membership.


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