I don’t care if I lose next elections: Rahul Gandhi

July 26th, 2008 - 10:26 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Hyderabad, July 26 (IANS) Strongly defending the India-US nuclear deal, Congress party general secretary Rahul Gandhi Saturday said he did not care if he lost the next elections because of his support to the deal. Continuing from where he left of during the debate on the trust motion in the parliament, the young MP said he and other young leaders in the Congress party were more concerned about the future of the country than elections and the government.

“I don’t care if I lose next elections,” he said while responding to queries from students at a programme organised by the state unit of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) here Saturday evening.

“I am in politics and lot of other youngsters with me are in politics because we want this country to progress in long term. We don’t think about what will happen in 5 to 10 days from now. We think what will happen in 20 to 30 years from now,” he said.

Gandhi said: “It was very easy for the prime minister to compromise but he decided to go ahead with the deal because he saw the country’s future in it. He thought about the changes it would bring in 40 to 50 years. We should be proud of the prime minister who thinks in this way in the present political environment in the country,” he said.

“I told the media that it does not matter if the government falls. Not often do you see a clear situation like this. It was not about Manmohan Singh or the government. It was about India’s nuclear future, about light in every house and about millions of jobs,” he said.

Allaying apprehensions that the deal could give a tool to the United States to interfere in India’s internal affairs and impact its foreign policy, Gandhi said that India was too big to be pushed around.

“We are big enough and strong enough. India has a big place in the international community and it should occupy its place,” he said.

“It might have been okay to say 50 to 60 years (back) that India was worried about US but today it is the other way round,” he said.

“Have you been to the US?” Gandhi asked the student who raised the question.

On getting a negative reply, he said: “I had been to US and lot of other western countries. There is significant concern in the western world about how India and China are growing. They are worried because we are very young, quite well trained and can work for much lower salaries,” he said.

He said India should not take decisions based on fears. “You will not succeed unless you step out of the door and take decisions out of courage and belief.”

To another query, Gandhi said that under the nuclear deal India would get the nuclear fuel and technology from Japan, Russia and France. “We are not going to get the fuel and technology from US alone,” he said.

Stating that India’s nuclear establishment was in shackles for long, he said the deal would free it and “give our nuclear scientists the fuel and technology”.

Hitting out at the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress MP said it was disappointing that that BJP which was negotiating a less powerful agreement when it was in power opposed this deal.

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