To run a party, you need advice of people: Rahul

May 14th, 2008 - 12:13 am ICT by admin  

Cuttack/Angul (Orissa), May 13 (IANS) ” To run a party, you need advice of the people around you, and if that is called coterie, I have nothing to say”, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi said Tuesday. Gandhi was responding to a query over the allegation that he has been guided by a ‘coterie’. Former central minister Akhilesh Das , who recently quit the Congress and the Rajya Sabha membership, hit out at what he called “flatterers and inexperienced coterie” surrounding Gandhi, whom he derisively dubbed as “yuvraj” (prince).

Earlier, while addressing a huge public meeting organised by the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) and National Aluminium Company Company Limited Workers Union at Angul, some 150 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, Gandhi emphasized the need to promote performing public sector undertakings.

The meeting was being billed as thanksgiving to Gandhi for having obtained Navratna status for NALCO.

Disapproving the reports in the media that private companies are faring better, Gandhi said that some central PSUs are performing well and NALCO was the brightest example.

A state like Orissa needs many more industries like NALCO for its progress and to remove poverty, he said.

“Orissa is rich in natural resources and mineral reserves, but many people in the state are poor and the most backward and poor are our Adivasi and Dalit,” he said. The problem of the poor tribals and people displaced by projects cannot be overlooked, he added.

He propounded “inclusive growth” under which the tribals and Dalits should be stakeholders in the upcoming industries.

He said the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government would not ignore the voices of the poor and continue to hear them and take steps to redress their sufferings.

In an obvious poser to the former National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government for its decision to privatize some of the central public sector undertakings, including the profit making NALCO, Rahul said: “There is a need to promote the government-run performing units.”

“Performing CPSUs will not be touched under the UPA rule,” he said, adding that NALCO should have been conferred the status of a Navratna company long back.

Nalco - the country’s largest public sector aluminium manufacturer - is a flagship public sector undertaking of the ministry of mines. It was granted the Navratna status last month. Navratna status is conferred on a select Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE) after they become significant players in the economic development of the country.

It was Rahul Gandhi’s second visit to Orissa since March. Gandhi arrived at Orissa capital Bhubaneswar Monday night. After addressing the rally at Angul Tuesday, he also addressed a few other meetings at Cuttack before returning to Delhi.

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