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Rahul denies coterie, says no harm in it

Source: PTI
May 14, 2008 00:04 IST
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Dismissing suggestions that a coterieĀ surrounded him, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said there was no harm in it.

"When you work with a group of people, it is viewed as a coterie. But I don't think there is any harm in it," Gandhi said during a brief interaction with media persons in Cuttack.

Rahul's remarks came in response to a query on allegations by former Congress leader from Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Das that there was a coterie around him.

Regreting inadequate representation of dalit and tribal youth in the Congress party in Orissa, the Nehru-Gandhi family scion said his mission was to bring them to the forefront.

"There is not adequate representation of tribal boys and girls in the party. There are talented boys and girls from the community in Orissa. The idea is to bring them to the forefront," he said after interacting with tribal and dalit delegates.

Gandhi said that during his last visit to the state in March he had learnt about inadequate representation of young tribal and dalit leaders in the party.

He, however, disagreed that his back-to-back visits to the state had anything to do with assembly polls in the state due next year.

On recent statements by senior party leader and Union Human Resource Development minister Arjun Singh that decision-making process in Congress has fallen in a bit of disarray and that Rahul Gandhi should become the prime minister, Gandhi refused to comment. "Arjun Singh is a senior (party) leader and I don't want to make any comment on his statements," he said.

Asked about the performance of Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh which completed one year, the Member of Parliament from Amethi said it was for the people of Uttar Pradesh to rate the Bahujan Samaj Party rule.

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