Rahul Gandhi today formally took over as vice president of the Congress, pitching for positive politics and promising to make the party an "instrument of change" and more accessible to both the youth and the experienced.
Regretting that the current environment in politics was "extremely
acrimonious", the 42-year-old leader asserted that negative politics is not going to take this country forward.
Dressed in jeans and a white kurta, Rahul, who arrived amid tight security, sought to be informal with party workers and press photographers seeking their views on the recently-concluded 'chintan shivir' of the party.
"We are always fighting with each other. Often I feel that we are fighting with each other for small reasons. Basically all of us feel the same thing and I think what would like to do is try and reduce that thing slightly.
"I don't want to get into negative politics. I don't want to be critical of everybody. I want to get into positive politics. Because positive politics is what is going to take this country forward. Negative politics is not going to take this country forward," Gandhi said from the AICC podium.
When a reporter sought to know does it mean he does not like debates on TV, he shot back saying, "I like all sorts of debates."
In interaction with senior party leaders, he sought to raise their comfort level saying there were some leaders like Ahmed Patel, Motilal Vora, Mohsina Kidwai and others, whose experience in politics is more than his age and he is looking forward to draw from their experience.
"Congress party is best instrument to change things. It is the best instrument to bring youngsters into politics. I think it is the most powerful instrument.
"What I want to do is to take the Congress family, make it accessible to as many youngsters and experienced people as possible and try and use this instrument to change this country," Gandhi later told the media.
This was Rahul's first visit to the party headquarters after he was anointed as its vice president on January 19 during the two-day 'chintan shivir' in Jaipur.
He held an informal chat with 60-odd office bearers including CWC members, party general secretaries, AICC secretaries and in charges of various states and frontal wings telling them such meetings both collectively and individually will now happen more often.
Noting that India is a dynamic country and this country can do wonders, Rahul said that there is a lot positive things about this country that also needs to be focused.
"Lately I feel... that a lot of discussions are negative
... Many many positive things that are happening everyday. Many many youngsters are transforming things and I think that also needs to be focused. That is what I am interested into," he said.
Replying to questions he said his message is same for Tamil Nadu or Andhra Pradesh what it is for the rest of the nation.
In the meeting with party leaders, Gandhi said there is huge talent in the party and all individual talents need to be tapped. The chintan shivir that concluded in Jaipur last week also came in for a brief mention.
"Rahul Gandhi said we will work together on taking the party forward. He said that after seeing you all, I feel our party has much talent," party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said after the meeting.
In his maiden speech after being appointed the vice president in Jaipur also, Rahul had made it clear that senior leadership of the party will continue to have its say irrespective of the changes that are in the offing.
"Earlier I was the general secretary in-charge of Youth Congress and NSUI. Now I am vice president of the Congress party. You should not feel that Rahul talks only about youth.
"Rahul's family now includes all Congress, Youth Congress, Mahila Congress. I want to promise that I will treat all of you equally, be it young leaders, experienced leaders, women. I will listen to everybody," he had said.
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