Rahul Gandhi is not ready to take up the job of the Prime Minister. In a candid answer to a pointed question about his becoming Prime Minister soon, he said “Not now... I will refuse... I don’t think I am ready now,” he said explaining that working for the party’s organisation was his “big priority”.
“Please don’t compare me with my walid (father in Urdu),” he said.
When a reporter asked whether he gets hassled about allegations that the “Gandhis” are trying to establish family rule in India, the 38-year-old retorted “Manmohan Singh is not from the Gandhi family. Whatever may be my name, it’s my family. I can’t change it.”
Flanked by external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee (73), who referred to Rahul as the “star campaigner” and the voice of the youth, the AICC general secretary unfolded his agenda for India and Congress.
He has a two-fold programme for Congress. First, infusion of new blood in the organisation and second, working at the grass roots level. The experience of youth Congress in Punjab and Gujarat in attracting young members by advertising membership forms in newspapers have yielded excellent results. Rahul’s youth brigade has been specially designed to reach out to people in the furthest corners of the country.
His guiding principle in governance will be to reach out the benefits of progress to poor. Things are changing, yet money is not reaching the poor. “That is the challenge”, he said. Rahul wants to look beyond the next 20 years when education will actually be a fundamental right and governments will take up integrated development.
Like a seasoned politician, Rahul dodged questions about the possibilities of post electoral alliance. “I am a campaigner. Those decisions will be taken by the Congress president and the Prime Minister.” When asked whether the Congress would seek support from the Left parties he said “doors are open to everyone” and the importance of the third front can be analysed only after the results are out.
Rahul heaped praises on Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee (54), admiring her simplicity and being the “lady of people.”
For Rahul Gandhi, the issue of Sri Lanka vis-a-vis India is very simple. “There are Tamil civilians suffering and it is our duty to reduce their that. We will do anything possible to help them”. To him LTTE is a terror outfit “which killed my father.”