This year’s Hindustan Times leadership summit themed “reimagining the future,” saw a range of leaders speaking on different issues. This was the 16th summit held in New Delhi. Answering a question on who will be India’s next prime minister, Congress President Rahul Gandhi at the summit said, “If they (allies) want me, sure.” Underlining the difference between the Congress and the BJP, he said “India is a partnership between all its people” and the Congress “didn’t believe in binaries”. Gandhi also expressed confidence that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would not be re-elected to the post next year. Attacking the BJP, Gandhi said that the Opposition has decided to defeat the Modi government in the upcoming general elections and then choose who will handle the top post.
Here’s what other leaders discussed at the summit:
Speaking at the summit, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh called terrorism a ” crime against humanity” and said it was not linked to any religion or cast.
“Even Islamic nations have condemned terrorism. Pakistan should take efforts to stop terrorism. I must compliment Muslims in India that they have not allowed radicalisation to spread in the country,” Singh said.
He also claimed that situation in Kashmir is improving and said that terror-related incidents have come down from 6,000 in 1995 to 360-odd incidents in 2017.
Asserting that BJP will win big in next year’s Lok Sabha election, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said, “The BJP will come back with 300 + seats and the NDA will get a two-thirds majority.”
Commenting on the economic situation in the country, Goyal said, the government since to power in 2014 has successfully steered the economy, built forex reserves and brought down double-digit inflation.
Speaking at the 16th HT summit, Actor-politician Kamal Hasaan said no one is politically untouchable as long as the other party does not tamper with Tamil Nadu’s DNA.
“They must understand the genetic DNA of Tamil Nadu… the beauty in all the diversity,” said Hasaan on the possibility of his mint-fresh party, Makkal Needhi Maiam, allying with the BJP.
Kamal who has always made it clear that the colour of his politics wasn’t saffron commented on Rahul Gandhi saying, “I see him as a possibility for the country…. In spite of what they have to say”.
“I say it is a possibility when you talk of me as a chief minister also,” he added in a free-wheeling interaction.
When asked whether football has changed over time, Legendary footballer Pele said “football hasn’t changed inside the field. The biggest change has been in the facilities. We didn’t have such great facilities.”
When asked who would he want in his team Messi or Ronaldo, the three-time FIFA World Cup champion said, “If I have to decide for my team I will choose Messi over Ronaldo.”
“Difficult to compare Messi and Ronaldo. Messi has a completely different style than Ronaldo. A lot of people compared me with George Best but we had a different style of play. Ronaldo is more of a centre-forward while Messi is more organised, he added.
Speaking about the Me Too movement in context to Tanushree Dutta’s case, actor Deepika Padukone said, “For me, the Me Too movement is not about gender. It’s about the victory of right over wrong. So, anyone who faces any sort of discrimination or any sort of abuse, I think we as a people must support that person. It’s not about a woman or a man or female vs male, let’s not get confused in that conversation.”
Speaking on similar lines, Ranveer Singh said sexual harassment in the industry is “beyond gender” and that “harassment, whether it is in the workplace or on the street, is wrong.”