Manmohan Singh young in mind, looks at future: Rahul (Lead)

April 13th, 2009 - 5:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Kochi, April 13 (IANS) Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Monday said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is “young in mind” and had the vision for the future unlike his opponent who lived in the past without a plan for the years to come.
“Youth is not how old you are. It is the attitude that is important. Our prime minister is a young man and he is young in mind because he understands technology, globalisation, economics and he puts it all together,” Gandhi, who was on a daylong visit to Kerala, said at a press conference here.

“A young person looks to the future, the old looks to the past. My prime minister, your prime minister, our prime minister looks into the future. When he did reforms in 1991, he looked 20-30 years ahead. If you sit with him, he will start telling you one, two, three, four, five, six, seven his plans,” he said.

Without naming the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani, Gandhi said: “His opposition is a person of the past. He looks at 2009 to 2004. They only speak of what we did. There is no statement coming there about the next five years… what they intend to do, 1, 2, 3.”

About Advani constantly referring to Manmohan Singh as a weak prime minister, Gandhi said that he and the youth of the country wish to know from Advani why he said that he was not aware of Jaswant Singh going to Kandahar with freed terrorists in return for the passengers of the hijacked flight IC-814 in 1999.

“The gentleman who was released later attacked parliament and there could be only two possibilities - despite he being the home minister, either (then) prime minister A.B. Vajpayee did not trust him or Advani is telling a lie. Advani has to answer this,” said Gandhi.

He said that he stands by his mother Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s statement that the biggest threat to the country is from within on account of the communalisation of politics by the BJP.

Asked if he would become prime minister some day as his sister Priyanka had implied, Gandhi said his priority is not to be the prime minister.

“My aim is to try to develop a system for youth. In three to five years’ time, the NSUI (National Students Union of India) and Youth Congress will be strengthened and you wait and see I will produce youth leaders in hundreds,” Gandhi quipped.

On the present crisis in neighbouring Sri Lanka, the Congress leader stressed that civilians should not be harassed.

“With regards to my opinion on the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), they assassinated my father so I am not fond of them,” Gandhi said.

Asked about marriage plans, he said he was too busy with elections and that “marriage will have to wait”.

Like Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi also criticised the state government for failing to utilise several central government schemes.

“The centre has lent massive funds to the state like never before and here massive corruption and scandals have taken place. The government here has failed to deliver and instead blamed the centre,” said Gandhi.

Gandhi also addressed a rally at Palakkad and is set to return to Delhi after three more public meetings.

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