Kicking off his party’s campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said whether he becomes the Prime Minister or not is immaterial but what matters is that all Indians, including women and youth, feel it is their country.
“My becoming or not becoming PM does not matter. What is most important is that everyone here, specially women and youth in country feel that this is their own country,” Rahul said while responding to best wishes from a youth for becoming the Prime Minister.
The young Congress leader said this while interacting with tribal youth at an engineering college here, as he began his two-day tour of Maharashtra.
Asking youth to enter mainstream politics, the Gandhi scion said there should not be even one youth who says he is afraid in his own country.
“I want to see MLAs, MLCs and MPs from amongst you in the next 10 years, maybe even a Prime Minister also,” he said.
Comparing Mahatma Gandhi and Hitler, Rahul said, “The German dictator shouted as he lacked confidence. But did Gandhi ji ever shout? That was because he was confident.”
“Like Mahatma Gandhi, humbleness while speaking is a sign of extreme self-confidence. Confidence should not be seen as aggression,” he said.
“There is no need for saying things aggressively. You can say it with love. Many people will be with you,” he said.
“If anyone, be it Rahul Gandhi or Prithviraj Chavan, says he knows better than you, he is telling a lie,” he said. “My request to you, specially tribal youth, is to join mainstream politics,” Rahul said.
“My message to the country’s youth is that the talent and capability the youth here have is not there anywhere else,” the Congress leader said.
On the progress the country has made since Independence, Rahul pointed out that today there were several rich people in India.
“Around 50 to 70 years ago there was not even a single rich person here. The only rich were maharajas and British,” he said.
On March 6, the Congress leader will interact with fishermen at Versova, after which he will address a public rally at Sonale village, Bhiwandi bypass, in Thane district.
AICC General Secretary in-charge of Maharashtra affairs Mohan Prakash, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and MPCC president Manikrao Thakre are accompaning Rahul during the tour.
Ruling Congress-NCP coalition in Maharashtra will be contesting the Lok Sabha polls with the same 26:22 seat-sharing formula adopted during the last elections, with Congress contesting 26 of the total 48 LS seats in the state.
There are 17 Congress members from the state in the outgoing Lok Sabha while NCP has eight.