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'Youth should press for democracy in parties'

india Updated: Mar 26, 2008 15:13 IST

PTI
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"At 37, I am an old person in India. Majority of India is younger than me," said Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi asking the youth to plunge into politics and prevail upon political parties to usher in internal democracy.

Noting that 70 per cent of India's population is young, Gandhi, on a campaign trail ahead of the assembly elections in Karnataka, said while old (people) are to be respected for their experience, there is value and strength in youth as well. "In a sense, youth is the future".

Lamenting that political parties lacked internal democracy, the Nehru-Gandhi family scion asked the youth to raise their voice to highlight the issue.

"Youth should ask the question: When there is democracy in poll booth, why does it not exist in political parties", Gandhi, who is on a four-day tour of Karnataka, asked at a function at Nanjangud, near here, last evening.

"No body is asking this "fundamental question... Why is it that in a democratic country where everybody has vote, the same spirit is missing in political parties," he said.

He urged the youth to enter politics and make it different and bring refreshing change by "resisting the same game that every politician plays".

Interacting with tribal students at Vivekananda Smaraka Hospital, part of Swami Vivekananda youth movement, at Sirgur near Mysore, he criticised opponents of the Rs 60,000 crore loan waiver package announced in the Union Budget. He said the critics are silent on the non-performing assets (with banks) of big industrialists.

Gandhi, however, said there can't be "unlimited loan waiver" noting that financial limitation does not allow for such a move. "Policy-making is all about balance, it has to be forward-looking, and not disruptive".

When a tribal girl asked him about his dream for new India, Gandhi said: "My dream for India is every child should dream".