No internal democracy in political parties: Rahul Gandhi

March 29th, 2008 - 9:25 pm ICT by admin  


Bangalore, March 29 (IANS) Congress MP Rahul Gandhi Saturday asserted that there was “no internal democracy” in any political party, including his own, though India was the largest democracy. “In a democratic India, there is no internal democracy in our political parties. This is a fundamental question I am asking while I don’t see others even thinking about it. Why is that we are not able to extend democracy to our institutions? Though we have democracy in our country, we don’t see it in our political system. Why is there no democracy within any party? I am trying to figure out,” Gandhi told reporters here at the end of his four-day whirlwind tour of Karnataka to connect with people.

Addressing a crowded press conference, Gandhi affirmed he was in the business of politics not for a short-term but for a long run and was learning to find out how as a politician he could serve the nation.

“We need to ask ourselves what better way we can as politicians do for the country and its billion-strong people. I would like to see more and more young people join politics and take up responsibility to serve the poor and reach out to the deserving,” Gandhi noted.

As an icon for the younger generation in politics, Gandhi indicated he would like to give more representation to the youth in electoral politics, as they could not only infuse a lot of positive energy in the body polity, but also utilise the opportunity to serve the people and the country at large.

“I am in favour of empowering the youth with representation across the political spectrum, spanning local bodies, assembly and parliament. The more young people we have in the political system the better it is for governing a vast country like India with diverse people, traditions and beliefs,” Gandhi pointed out.

Asked whether politicians should have a retirement age so that more youth could be accommodated and empowered to take up leadership roles, Gandhi said there was enough space for both senior leaders and youth to co-exist and benefit from each other.

“Youth bring in high energy and fresh blood to politics while senior leaders bring in vast experience in the executive, legislature and other areas to strengthen the party and create a talent pool for the next generation. Inter-dependency and joint efforts will mutually benefit them as well as the party,” Gandhi averred.

In this context, Gandhi hinted at holding elections in the Youth Congress and National Students Union of India (NSUI) to democratise the party and facilitate internal democracy.

“It is unfortunate no political party in India keeps a track of its members. Ask any party chief who are the members and how many cadres are present across states, they wouldn’t know. The reason is we are not empowering them. We are not able to see them as individuals but as groups. There is a systemic problem here. We need to change that to track members, see what they are doing and how they are performing. We need to change the system for new membership and have elections at every level within the party,” Gandhi added.

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