Union Minister and Congress leader Milind Deora on Friday said if Rahul Gandhi had joined the UPA government in 2009, it would have made a big difference to the fortunes of the party which is bracing for a tough electoral battle beginning next month.
“He would have brought a fresh approach in the government and the party’s image would have been different. A party in power needs to use young leaders and their talent,” said Deora, who is seeking re-election from Mumbai South seat.
According to the 38-year-old MP, who hails from a political family, the Congress Vice-President’s involvement as a minister would have brought the right mix of experience, wisdom, youth and enthusiasm in the government, which is now battling graft charges and perception of policy paralysis. He did not agree with criticism that young MPs were not utilised effectively by his party.
“Many of us were given opportunities to serve in the government and also the party,” the Minister of State for IT and Telecom said. Asked about factionalism in Mumbai Congress, Deora said there was a scope for making the local unit cohesive with better coordination. “All of us have to do it.
All party MPs have worked hard to be in touch with people and stood up for their issues instead of the party. I myself voiced people’s concerns on many occasions like on the ordinance on convicted MPs (which was eventually dropped).
“We had the courage to speak out what people say. I have been a people’s MP and used people’s voice effectively. All the city MPs have done the same,” he said. Deora felt Congress’ chances in Mumbai in upcoming election were good because many critical infra projects like metro, monorail and eastern freeway were conceptualised and implemented under the party’s watch.
Congress won five of the six Lok Sabha seats in last Lok Sabha polls. The sixth seat was bagged by its ally NCP. Deora said he did not agree with criticism that the party leadership had been mostly silent on critical issues.
“We were the first government to face RTI, social media, 24×7 news media and adapt to them. Sometimes we did well and sometimes fared poorly.” The good thing now is that there is transparency in public life, the Union Minister added.