More democratisation within political parties and inclusive growth are the two main concerns of Rahul Gandhi.
Meeting a few journalists on Sunday morning, the 38-year-old Congress general secretary said that while there was democracy in the country, there wasn’t enough of it within political parties. “All our political parties are structured in a way that empowers only those whom the party leader likes,” he said. “This model is not sustainable in the long term.”
Coming as he did from a high profile political family, weren’t his views paradoxical? “I agree they are,” he said. “But now that I have the opportunity let me try and steer my party in a positive direction. We need to change this country fundamentally.”
Rahul also insisted economic growth was meaningless unless everyone benefited from it. “We don’t believe we can take the country forward without inclusion,” he said.
“The BJP thinks the poor, the Dalits and minorities need not be part of the game,” he added.
“There are two models of growth we have to choose between,” he said. “One is the private sector, Indian Shining and a focus on issues that don’t impact the people. Our people have already shown their silent resistance to this. The second is growth with distribution that includes not only the poor but also the middle classes. That is the idea of the aam aadmi.”
Admitting he was taking a long term perspective, Rahul clarified however, that winning or losing elections in the short term also mattered very much to him. “Of course it matters,” he said. “But on some issues there can be no compromise.”