At a time when the ruling BJP claims to have made serious inroads even in Srinagar city, the opposition National Conference has devised a strategy to rope in as much as possible youth into its party fold through its brand new membership drive to be launched by the party patron Dr Farooq Abdullah on July 27.
The former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah would be the party's main character who would play a vital role in attracting members from the generation next.
This will be the first membership drive of NC when PDP-BJP is ruling the J&K.
The NC General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar said that the party chief is keen to kick start the new membership drive from party headquarters, Nawa-e-Subh complex here.
"NC working president Omar will also be present there," Sagar said.
He said the party intends to register as many as members from eight constituencies of Srinagar, five of which are presently being represented by the ruling PDP, for the first time.
"We will explain to our new members how PDP and BJP deceived people of J&K for the lust of power. Our vision and mission is already before the masses, we just want to remind them before making them part of our party," he added.
Interestingly, the party has not set any target this time around. The new membership drive would also be a litmus test for the party's new leadership, especially General Secretary Sagar, who would be overseeing the entire process.
While talking to Greater Kashmir said: "It is definitely a Herculean task despite the fact we are a cadre based party and have our workers in all 22 districts of the State. This time, we are out of power, which is also a test for us."
Sources in the NC camp revealed that the beleaguered Dr Farooq, who is presently grappling with the problem of PDP's first coup against him that almost resulted in dethroning him from the only seat of power, J&K Cricket Association President, has categorically directed the party men to ensure "grand success" of the party's new membership drive. "You are because of the party. This party has a history, sacrifices and mission," Dr Farooq has told the party leaders.
NC is eyeing at least 25 lakh members in the State besides trying to ensure active participation of youth in the party fold. The NC chief spokesman Aga Ruhulla said that figures are not important for a party that has a great legacy to share with the people of J&K. "For younger generation, NC's secular character is an open invitation for the people to join the party," Ruhulla said. He said the party intends to reach out to the people with a new vigor and proposals," he added.