Days after publicly embarrassing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by terming as complete nonsense the ordinance passed by the Union Cabinet to protect convicted legislators,Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi Thursday attempted some damage control by calling the PM his second guru.
Speaking at a public rally in Sangrur district,where he had come to attend the foundation stone laying ceremony of a PGI satellite centre,Rahul said,There are two gurus in my life. One is the Congress president (Sonia Gandhi) and the other is Dr Manmohan Singh. I have learnt the maximum from Dr Manmohan Singh in my life. In fact,no one else can teach me so much.
Rahul reiterated that he opposed the ordinance against criminal politicians and spoke the truth. He said,I was told by few journalists that the time I chose was wrong. But I believe that there is no time to speak truth. One needs to have guts to speak truth as and when he or she feels,rather than waiting for a correct time.
But todays politics is like this…politicians think of a time to speak. This is the change I want to bring in politics, Rahul said. Praising the PM,he added,I have been in politics for the past 8-9 years and all these years,I have seen that a persons intentions should be clear if he/she wants to do politics and this is what I see in our Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.
Rahul praised the farmers for their hard work in making Punjab the food bowl of India. He said,It would not have been possible for the rest of the country to have right to food,had Punjab and Haryana not contributed. I thank all Punjabis for their hard work.
Meanwhile,internal bickering within the Congress was on full display with both the former and the current PPCC chiefs cold-shouldering each other. Former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh,who had earlier excused himself from the function,surprised many by turning up. In his speech,he first skipped mentioning PPCC chief Partap Singh Bajwas name,only to be corrected by the sitting Sangrur MP Vijayinder Singla.
In return,Bajwa,while welcoming Amarinder,did not refer to the latters name in the rest of his speech.
The function was not attended by any representative of the Punjab government following the row over the Punjab Chief Minister not being invited. The Union Health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad tried to clear the air over the controversy. He said,about a week back PGI director himself went to invite the CM. In fact,I also called the CM and invited him for the ceremony.
After youth govt remark,Congs Rahul-for-PM chorus gets louder
EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE
NEW DELHI,OCTOBER 10
A day after Rahul Gandhi said the next government would be a government of the youth,the Congress Thursday said it wants him to take up the reins of administration after the 2014 elections.
I welcome his statement. Very rightly he has said that the leadership should go in the hands of the youth. And our desire is that he should become the prime minister of this country, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said.
At the AICC briefing,Congress spokesperson P C Chacko said partymen across the country want Rahul to become the next PM. It is not a matter of dispute at all. It is the wish of the people and wish of the party workers. We all expect Rahul to lead the party in the elections and also take up the reins of the administration after elections, he said.
While Rahul has often shrugged off the clamour in the Congress to project him as the partys PM candidate,his statement at a public rally in Uttar Pradesh Wednesday seems to have enthused the party.
With Rahul not revealing his mind,senior party leaders have often contradicted each other on the issue. For instance,Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh and union minister R P N Singh recently hinted that the party would not declare any PM candidate. Both claimed the Congress does not have the tradition of declaring either the CM or PM candidates before polls. But party general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi did not rule out the possibility: Individuals may have personal opinions,but on such issues a final decision is taken by the party.