Monday, February 6, 2012

Rahul's politics not aimed at becoming PM: Priyanka

Becoming Prime Minister is not the "central focus" of Rahul Gandhi's politics, according to his sister Priyanka, who said that Manmohan Singh is "extremely good" and a question of change does not arise at the moment.

On a campaign trail in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka also backed Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, saying she feels "sad" about the attacks on him in the 2G spectrum case when he has an "onerous and huge" responsibility towards the people of this country.

Priyanka said that for Rahul the post of party president or Prime Minister was not important and for him his mission of development was more important.

"You see the political career of Rahul Gandhi that whether he should be the party president or Prime Minister, but neither he nor us see it that way...he is more concerned about what he is doing.

"I do not think that is the central focus of his politics. We have an extremely good Prime Minister. We are fortunate to have a person who is honest and works well and I don't think this question arises at the moment," Priyanka told reporters here.

She was replying to a question on whether the time has come for Rahul to become Prime Minister, a demand that is often made by sections within the Congress.

The 40-year-old daughter of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who was all-praise for Rahul and his contribution to building up the Congress in UP, said he is more concerned about his work than worrying about how the election results would impact his reputation."It his work that matters. He is not concerned about his reputation. Only cowards don't lead from the front."

Asked about the allegations against Chidambaram in the 2G spectrum case, Priyanka said she feels "sad" about the attacks on him. Chidambaram got a huge relief yesterday when a Delhi court threw out a plea to make him an accused in the case. "I feel as the Home Minister he has an onerous and huge responsibility towards the people of this country. I feel sad when he has to waste his time responding to the rants of people who are not concerned about the kind of issues he has to deal with...," she said.

Priyanka maintained that she feels in a similar way with regard to the attacks on the UPA government."I feel sad on how much time is wasted on not allowing the government to function," she said, adding that this takes away precious time.

While stating that becoming Prime Minister or Congress president was not the "central focus" of Rahul's political career, she however did not rule out her brother holding any post, saying if his work requires him to do so, he will.

Priyanka insisted that Rahul is working for bringing about a change in politics.She said that before the 2007 Assembly elections Rahul had explained to her that though Congress was not organisationally strong in UP. He wanted to get involved as his concern was building up the party and work for the welfare of the state. She asserted that Rahul was not working for a reputation but for change. "As I understand it, the mandate my brother is trying to set is for development of the state," said Priyanka, who is campaigning for the UP assembly polls.

Priyanka said her stand on entering politics remains what it was when she was 15 years old and sought to know from an aggressive BJP if it was attacking her as it wanted her venture into active politics.

Asked if she has any plans of entering politics and what was preventing her from taking the plunge, Priyanka said, "I have been answering this question since I was 15 years old. And the answer is constant and the same. If you do not want to accept my answer to this, and of course, if I want to enter politics, you will know immediately."

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