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Rahul Gandhi to learn art of governance in S'pore

Congress MP is in Singapore to learn the finer points of governance from those who have made the city state a success story.

india Updated: Jun 05, 2006 15:19 IST

After being exposed to India's rural realities, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi is in Singapore to learn the finer points of governance from those who have made the city state a success story.

Congress say the visit by party president Sonia Gandhi's son is "very crucial" to one who is being groomed for larger responsibilities, with an eye on the post of Prime Minister.

The invitation to Rahul Gandhi has come from Singapore's founder leader Lee Kuan Yew, the mentor to the government headed by his son and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

During the three-day visit, Rahul is expected to meet, besides the Lees, Foreign Minister George Yeo, Education Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, lawmakers and other senior officials.

Unlike his father Rajiv Gandhi, who became the Prime Minister unexpectedly after the assassination of his mother Indira Gandhi, the 35-year-old Amethi MP has made quite an effort to understand rural India.

Rahul Gandhi, who has toured different parts of the country to learn how self-help groups and health care system function in rural India, now appears to be in a mood to learn about high-tech developments and free-market economy.

"This trip is very crucial. Rahul himself, his mother and others expect a lot from this visit," a close family aide said.

"Besides being a learning process, they feel it would make him more confident and capable of taking on tougher assignments."

The aide added forthrightly: "Well, its not a secret that he is being prepared to be the future prime minister. I do not think the family wants to be secretive about it. He is being prepared for the top job."

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself had taken keen interest in sending Rahul Gandhi to attend the Young Global leaders meet organised by the World Economic Forum in Germany last year.

Rahul had also accompanied Manmohan Singh to Afghanistan last year.

The aide said Sonia Gandhi had been very particular that Rahul should learn things from first hand experience.

In Singapore, he is also expected to study various business enterprises including Changi Airport, the Singapore Management University, the Singapore National Eye Centre, the Port of Singapore Authority, Singapore Airlines, Keppel Corp, Creative Technologies and Singtel.

Rahul Gandhi, who in April and May oversaw his mother's election campaign in Rae Bareli, is reportedly attending an interactive session co-hosted by the Institute of South Asian Studies and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

First Published: Jun 05, 2006 15:19 IST