‘No chance’, Rahul Gandhi brushes away PM possibility queryFebruary 23rd, 2009 - 7:30 pm ICT by IANS
Ahmedabad, Feb 23 (IANS) Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi brushed off suggestions of his becoming prime minister after the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls with a “no chance”, and said he couldn’t hypothesize about the 2014 polls, which are “so distant in the future”.
The young Congress MP, who was on a two-day visit to north Gujarat, interacted with people in Sabarkantha district late Sunday night.
When asked by Dabhi Ajaykumar Navjibhai, a college student from Kadiyana: “Can we see you as a prime minister after the forthcoming elections?”, the Gandhi scion replied with a firm: “No chance”.
The Amethi MP explained: “Since the Congress is projecting the present prime minister Manmohan Singhji as the next prime minister of the country, the question does not arise. As to whether I will be the prime minister in 2014, I can’t say, which is so distant in the future.”
He also exhorted the people to join the Youth Congress.
Addressing 600 adivasi (tribal) youth at Sanali who gave him a rousing reception, Gandhi said: “First join the Youth Congress, which is not meant for any particular caste, creed or religion. Let us strengthen the Youth Congress before we talk about any group’s economic development.”
The youths, including women, had come from far away places like Vijaynagar, Khedbrahma and Bhiloda talukas of Sabarkantha district; Datar and Amirgadh in Banaskantha and Devgadh Baria taluka of Godhra in Panchmahals district and other places of north Gujarat.
Gandhi reached Sanali ashram at Danta taluka in Banaskantha late Sunday night after 10 p.m., instead of 4.30 p.m. as scheduled. The reason was darkness, and keeping his safety in mind it was advised that he use the road instead of travelling by air, said Congress sources.
Interestingly, Gandhi faced the youth without being chaperoned by any state Congress leader though he was accompanied by Gujarat party chief Siddharth Patel, opposition leader in Gujarat Assembly Shaktisinh Gohil, Banaskantha Congress president Bahadursinh Vaghela and Danta MLA Mukesh Gadhvi.
Pushpa Ramjibhai Rathod, 18, a student of Sanali Ashram, wanted to know whether the Congress had any plans to set up a Nano-type major factory in the tribal belt of Sabarkantha so that adivasi youth could get jobs.
While answering the query, Gandhi took a swipe at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, saying : “For all of us here it is not our government that is ruling the state. It is a government of rich industrialists and not of the poor. The UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government has indeed given a package for the upliftment of adivasis.”
“We are one and the same though we belong to different communities. When the country makes progress the Congress feels it should be an inclusive growth. Various poverty alleviation programmes like National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme have been evolved to develop an appropriate social security net for the poor,” he said.
Gandhi later left for Ambaji in the night, halting there overnight. He left Monday morning for Himmatnagar and met many young farmers and adivasi youth at Nalinkanth Gandhi Town Hall. He interacted with the youth alone, without any local Congress leader at his side except security officials.
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