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English version of the interview with Rahul Gandhi published in Dainik Bhaskar on 14 Jan, 2014 PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Rahul Gandhi: The nation can't run on the whims and fancies of a particular person

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi stated that he is ready to take any responsibility, if given, and will do whatever the party wants him to do. “Congress should come to power in the interest of the country. I will take up whatever responsibility is given to me by my party in the future and do it diligently to the best of my abilities,” said Rahul Gandhi in an interview to Dainik Bhaskar, Hindi news daily.

The Congress vice-president also expressed hope that Congress party will do well in the next General Elections and his party's return to power will hold good for the nation. “People, sometimes, underestimate Congress. That had happened in 2004 and 2009, but we came out victorious. Coming general elections will be very exciting and I am confident that we will perform well in the polls”, said Rahul Gandhi and stated further, “We have done tremendous works in the last ten years. We changed the development paradigm of our country. We brought in land mark policies like the NREGA, Right to Education and land acquisition bills. Congress has been granting rights to the people. We gave right to information and right to forests. We granted rights to identity through Aadhar. We also provided the people with right to food. We have created history by ensuring rights to the people”.

When asked about BJP’s Congress-free India campaign and Narendra Modi’s popularity, the young Congress leader quipped, “BJP now wants personality oriented leadership which isn't in the favour of the nation. The nation can't run on the whims and fancies of a particular person. The future of the 120 million people will be secured only if we take all the citizens along. Congress is in the DNA of this country. BJP needs to realise that Congress is the only party that has kept the people of India united”.

 Rahul Gandhi denied reports that Congress is fast losing its allies. “It is untrue that my party is losing its allies, we have alliances in Maharashtra and J&K. Further discussions are in progress,” he said.

About speculations regarding a bigger responsibility for Priyanka Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi said “Priyanka is my sister and my friend. She is also an active Congress soldier. Her ideas strengthen me as well as my party. I do not think that she will have any election-based role”.

Rahul Gandhi also took a jibe at the Aam Aadmi Party and, “I do not agree with them on many matters. Our decisions must be with a long term vision aimed at safety and security of the people, and must not be short-termed”.

“My focus is on a long term vision for the future of our country, where all Indians have equal freedom, dignity and opportunity.  My vision is for an India where girls are not discriminated against.  We need to transform the civil service and legal system. Government must be honest and should be zero tolerant on corruption” he said in the interview.

(Courtesy – Dainik Bhaskar)

 

English version of the interview with Rahul Gandhi published in Dainik Bhaskar on 14 Jan, 2014

Q  Your vision of development

The youth in our country wants better jobs, infrastructure and other facilities. At the same time, every citizen of our country wants house, sufficient food, adequate safety, security and proper respect. I joined the Congress party with this vision and I want to make a system within the party system to achieve this goal. I want a system so that every person gets an opportunity according to merit so that the feeling of responsibility can be generated.

My focus is on a long term vision for the future of our country, where all Indians have equal freedom, dignity and opportunity.  My vision is for an India where girls are not discriminated against.  We need to transform the civil service and legal system. Government must be honest and should be zero tolerant on corruption.

 

Q  Are you ready to take the responsibility as PM of the country?

Ans: We are a democratic organization. We believe in democracy. Representatives chosen by the people of India will decide who will be the country's prime minister. Congress should come to power in the interest of the country. I will take up whatever responsibility is given to me by my party in the future and do it diligently to the best of my abilities.

 

Q  There are allegations that Congress leaders are not going to the people. MPs/ MLA lose connect with the masses.

Ans:  No, it's not. It is a big generalisation. There are many qualified leaders in Congress. I also do not agree that the legislators are not going to the people. The party needs more youngsters in it. We want more youth to join Congress. We have worked in this direction in the past years and would continue with that.

 

Q  You had said that Congress will learn from Aam Admi Party (AAP)

Ans: The Congress party is a strong and dynamic organization. Congress had transformed the course politics earlier and will do so in the future too. I also insist for positive changes in the party ever since I joined the party.  Aam Aadmi Party has found success in bringing some changes. But both our ideologies are different. I do not agree with them on many matters. Our decisions must be with a long term vision aimed at safety and security of the people, and must not be short-termed.

Our country had witnessed Ashoka, Akbar and Aurangazeb. Ashoka had done efforts to unite people; Aklbar too did that. But Aurangazeb had a different reputation.  The Congress party has been putting all its efforts to unite the people, in the past hundred years.

Q  About BJP’s Congress-free India campaign and Narendra Modi’s popularity?

Ans: BJP now wants personality oriented leadership which isn't in the favour of the nation. The nation can't run on the whims and fancies of a particular person. The future of the 120 million people will be secured only if we take all the citizens along. Congress is in the DNA of this country. BJP needs to realise that Congress is the only party that has kept the people of India united.

 

Q  What will be the role of Priyanka Gandhi in the coming elections? Will she contest?

Ans: Priyanka is my sister and my friend. She is also an active Congress soldier. Her ideas strengthen me as well as my party. I do not think that she will have any election related role.

 

Q  Are you hundred per cent confident that the Congress-led UPA will win the next general elections?

Ans: We have done tremendous works in the last ten years. We changed the development paradigm of our country. We brought in land mark policies like the NREGA, Right to Education and land acquisition bills. Congress has been granting rights to the people. We gave right to information and right to forests. We granted rights to identity through Aadhar. We also provided the people with right to food. We have created history by ensuring rights to the people.

People, sometimes, underestimate Congress. That had happened in 2004 and 2009, but we came out victorious. Coming general elections will be very exciting and I am confident that we will perform well in the polls.

We need to improve the growth rate like the way we try to improve the education, health and employment. We have solid proposals in this direction in our election manifesto also.

 Though you did not ask, I want to emphasise that the biggest strength in our country is its education system. But we need to open it for all. The present system is not able to cater the requirement of our population. In the past ten years Congress has been trying to ensure that maximum children attend schools and get educated. Our next endeavour is to strengthen and empower the teachers. We want to boost the system so that people can get the job. We have opened the field of electricity. We have more highways now. Delhi-Mumbai, Bangalore-Chennai corridors are under progress. We want to transform the country so that everyone will be benefitted.

 

Q  Some people say that you are reluctant to take big responsibilities..

Senior leaders take decisions in our party. That has been our tradition.

 

Q That may be true. Congress has its own way of taking decisions. But are you reluctant to take up bigger roles? You said once that “power is poison”....  

Ans: "Power is poison" does not mean that I am not willing to take responsibility. There is no word in my life called ‘reluctance’.  “Power is poison” is an observation that a number of threats come along with the power and one must be cautioned how to deal with those threats. “Power is poison” means to use the power for the benefits of the people. Do not use power for selfish interests and for personal benefits.

No one in my family, whether it is my grandmother or father, was hungry for power.

I am a Congress soldier. I will do whatever my party asks me to do. What is surprising for me is why we are discussing about power or a particular post only. Why our discussions are individual or power centric? Why no one is talking about cleansing the political system? Nobody is interested to have discussion on how to transform the system. The main focus of discussion must be on changing the course of politics in our country.

 

Q  Why Congress is not making any specific declarations?

Ans: Congress has not been specific in this matter ever. I have fulfilled all the responsibilities given by my party earlier and will continue to do so in the future too.

As far as power is concerned, I remember the words of Mahatma Gandhi. He had said, “think about the last person whenever you think about power”. Sometimes, the reality is that we forget that last person after coming to power.

 

Q  Why Congress is losing its popularity? Are you happy with the performance?

Ans: I never claimed that all is well in the Congress party. There are some things to be fixed. I have conveyed my thoughts in this regard inside the party.

 

Q  How can you get people’s opinion on selection of candidates?

Ans: Congress wants strong democracy within the organization and we have been putting our efforts in that direction. Now you have witnessed that, we have given a chance to the people to have their views in our manifesto. It is for the first time that the youth and other section of the society get an opportunity like this. We want every common man’s view is reflected in the manifesto.

 

Q  Why the allies are going away from the Congress?

Ans: It is not true that allies are running away from us. Discussions are on in this regard.  We have our ally intact in Jammu and Kashmir and Maharashtra. We have no allies in Bihar and discussions are taking place.

 

Q  Will allying with Lalu Prasad in Bihar not damage the anti-corruption stance of the Congress?

Discussions are still on. Our alliance committee will take an appropriate decision.

 

Q  What are your personal interest/ hobbies?

I enjoy swimming and running. I also practice meditation and Aikido Japanese martial art. We must be physically fit to stay mentally fit.  I am also very interested in technology. My father Rajiv Gandhi was a pilot and I also possess a pilot's license.

 

 
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