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I could have been PM at 25: Rahul

Source: PTI
September 15, 2005 22:05 IST
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In the clearest signal so far about his formal political ascendancy, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi says he will become a member of the Congress Working Committee and take "more responsibility" in the party.

"I will get into the CWC. I will take more responsibility in the party. After all, I am in politics," he told Tehelka weekly in an interview against the backdrop of a growing demand from partymen that he be inducted into the CWC, the party's apex policy-body, and that he be appointed a Congress general secretary.

Rahul said he could have become prime minister at 25 but preferred to gain more experience before taking up the responsibility.

Rahul's remarks come close on the heels of moves by Congress leaders in several states as also Pradesh Congress Committee resolutions that request party president Sonia Gandhi to nominate the entire CWC and facilitate an early reconstitution of the Congress secretariat.

The Congress president has so far dodged the issue of inducting her son in the organisation but maintained she would give greater responsibility to Gen Next leaders in the party.

Earlier, there was speculation that Rahul was in favour of a contest for the CWC. But the likely postponement of the All India Congress Committee plenary session -- scheduled to be held in Hyderabad from October 20 to 22 -- in view of the Bihar assembly election will affect the CWC electoral process.

Rahul's father Rajiv Gandhi also began his political career as a Congress general secretary in the early 1980s.

Meanwhile, in remarks that would be music to rivals of the Rashtriya Janata Dal and its allies ahead of the Bihar assembly election, he said there is "no trace of governance" in the state now under central rule.

Painting a grim picture of Bihar and UP, Rahul said, "you can travel right across these two states but you won't find a trace of governance. There is no functioning government in UP and Bihar and so there is no governance. There is a total collapse of the administrative system in these states. Nothing happens here."

Asked why his party then continued to support the Lalu Prasad-led RJD and and the Mulayam Singh Yadav government in UP, he appeared to put a question mark on the decisions of "senior leaders" of his party.

"I can't go around telling people what to do about Mulayam and Lalu. There are senior Congress leaders involved in this, and they take the decisions," the Lok Sabha member from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh told Tehelka.

"It is not just the issue of support, there are lots of other things. These are tricky questions and a lot of people ask me about this. But it doesn't work that way, that one fine day we decide we don't want to go along with them and that's it. It is a complex issue," he said.
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