File photo of AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi.
File photo of AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi.

Rahul Gandhi says not obsessed with becoming PM, but with development of UP

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, February 6, 2012

Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi today said he was not "obsessed" with becoming Prime Minister of the country but with the development and transformation of Uttar Pradesh.
Gandhi was speaking at a press conference in Varanasi on the last day of campaigning for the first phase of polling on February 8 in the seven-phase elections to the 403-member UP Legislative Assembly. 
He has been campaigning extensively in the state in an effort to revive the party's fortunes there.
Gandhi's remarks came a day after his sister Priyanka Vadra, told journalists that he was not focused on becoming Prime Minister.
Gandhi said he was obsessed with the idea of tranforming UP into a front-ranking state in India and that he was convinced that the people of the state, now regarded as one of the country' most backward areas, had the potential to achieve this if they were provided with the right kind of leadership. He said it was not the people of the state, but its leaders who had failed Uttar Pradesh.
"All the political leaders in India, all the top ones, have an obsession with prime ministership. This is not Rahul Gandhi's obsession. I have another obsession.
"I want to correct the way we have been working in this state. I believe it is a monumental crime not to hear the voice of the people.
"I don't have any major strengths. All I have is that some people in this country believe in me. Even if one per cent of the people in Uttar Pradesh believe in us, that will be good for me," he said.
Gandhi said that successive Governments in UP had, over the past 22 years, let the state down.
He was critical in this context of both the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP), which had ruled the state in this period. He said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) did not count at all in this year's election in UP.
An unusually combative Gandhi was particularly critical of veteran BJP leader L K Advani, who he said took out a "rath yatra" against corruption through the country but was blind to the corruption in states ruled by his own party. He said Advani went around making promises he knew he could not implement, but rarely cared to listen to the people's woes. 
In contrast, the Congress had acted against corruption and even put ministers in jail, he said.
He said that when he had proposed that the proposed Lokpal be given Constitutional status, on the lines of the Election Commission, the Opposition had laughed at it. But he said the Government would ensure that the Bill, already cleared by the Lok Sabha, would become law.
Referring to the black flags shown by some youths at his election meetings and a shoe hurled at him, the MP from Amethi in UP, often projected by members of his party as a future Prime Minister, said such incidents or even bullets would not deter him.