Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Friday termed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as the cleanest man in Indian politics.
Gandhi said so in reply to a question posed to him at an in-camera meeting with youth leaders here.
Asked about the three most honest and non-corrupt politicians in the country, Gandhi named Singh, Defence Minister AK Antony and Home Minister P Chidambaram.
The Congress general secretary, who interacted with the youth and student leaders in Ahmedabad, Rajkot and Vadodara, is reported to have had a candid heart to heart interaction with the young. The meetings were aimed to boost the membership drive of the National Students Union of India, the students wing of the Congress party, and the media was not allowed to attend any of them.
According to NSUI national general secretary Shahnawaj Sheikh and its central election committee member, Vinaysinh Tomar, Gandhi also described the prime minister as a "bullet-proof man", apparently indicating at his shield of honesty and non-corrupt past.
Gandhi, who has restructured the Youth Congress in the country through elective representations rather than nomination, made it clear that he wanted to follow the same pattern in the NSUI as well. He said he himself was a beneficiary of the present system of encouraging "family ties" and people with strong "connections and political family background", but he disliked the system and wanted to encourage all those who possess the tenacity to climb up the ladder through sheer dint of hard work instead of being cherry picked through "connections".
Rahul Gandhi said it was his desire to fulfil the incomplete mission of his grandmother and father, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi respectively. He believed that the "communication revolution" brought about by his father had worked wonders for the common man and the country. "The tool of the rich is the hand maiden of the poor today," he added.