Politics should not be for privileged few: Rahul | india | Hindustan Times
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Politics should not be for privileged few: Rahul

india Updated: Oct 21, 2008 00:03 IST
Deep Joshi

Savitri Sharma asked Rahul Gandhi whether he took a bath after having food with Dalits. The AICC general secretary said, “You wait for another four years, you will get the answer in Uttar Pradesh.”

On Mayawati’s charge that he was playing the Dalit card in Uttar Pradesh, he said only time will “tell what kind of a person I am. And it will be known to the whole world”.

On Monday, at Ramnagar in Uttarakhand, Rahul Gandhi was smothered with questions from about 1,000 girl students from different colleges of the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand at an interactive session. The session was part of the National Students’ Union of India’s (NSUI) membership drive in the state.

Earlier, addressing an NSUI function here, Gandhi said the country’s political system is a closed one and needs to be opened up so that getting access to politics becomes easier.

The political system accepts only those who are either financially sound or have their parents or brothers to offer them political patronage, he said, admitting that he was a “symptom of that problem and am trying to change it”.

He said had he not been from a political family, it would have been more difficult for him to enter politics. “My great grandfather was in politics so was my grandmother and father,” Rahul Gandhi said disarmingly.

He said he was striving hard to open up the system so that the less privileged sections of society as well as women could rise in every sphere of political hierarchy to offer leadership.

At the open house session with girl students, he said, “women have to have a voice in the country. Women constitute the country’s 50 per cent population, but they have less than five per cent representation even in the supreme body like the Lok Sabha.”

When asked why women are not safe in Delhi, he said, “I cannot say what the government is doing. Political leaders do not have much information. I will definitely look into the matter.”

Referring to states like Bihar, Gandhi said they remained untouched by development because of divisive politics. “This kind of politics exhausts all your funds and development takes a backseat,” he asserted.