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Chintan Shivir: Will Rahul Gandhi be Cong's PM candidate in 2014?

Dailybhaskar.com   |  Jan 20, 2013, 19:21PM IST
Jaipur 
 
The Congress Party finally took the long-impending step of elevating Rahul Gandhi to Number 2 position in the party yesterday. Newly-appointed vice-president, who stayed away from the limelight after the poll debacle in Uttar Pradesh Assembly election, came back with a bang. This move seems to be an unofficial announcement that he would be the prime ministerial candidate of the Congress Party in the 2014 General Elections. Now the big question is, whether the silent Rahul would be able to fill in the big shoe or not?
 
4:45 pm: After assuming the charge of vice president of Congress Party, an emotional Rahul Gandhi remembered the death of her grand mother, Indira Gandhi when she was assassinated in 1984. The youth icon says it was for the first time he saw his father crying in the hospital after he lost his mother. 
 
4:15 pm:  Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi delivered his first speech after he was appointed for the number 2 position yesterday. 
The Congress youth icon said, it was Congress Party that opposed the idea of violence during the 1947 struggle of freedom. He added that Congress supported the idea of non-violence and fought with British with voices of non-violent people and sent the British back to their home.
 
Key highlights: 
  • You have given me a great responsibility. The Congress is not a party but a family. 
  • This is the world's biggest family and has room for all Indians.
  • Does this family need change? Yes, but by taking the views of you all.
  • I used to be the general secretary of the NSUI, Youth Congress. Now I am Vice President. From today, Rahul Gandhi will work for you all.
  • I promise you that I will treat you all the same and will listen to you all.
  • I understand that in politics we have to work hard and change things, but slowly and for the long term.
 

2.36pm: Defending himself, Shinde said, "All of this has come in the papers many times, there is nothing new in what I said."

 

He said, "I have talked about Saffron terrorism."

 

2.15pm: Agreeing with Sushil Kumar Shinde, Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar said, "I agree with him a 100%, glad that the Home Minister of the country said this."

Congress leader Rajiv Shukla said, "He (Sushil Kumar Shinde) meant right wing terrorism not Hindu terrorism. Terrorists have no religion." 

1.30pm: Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said, "After investigations we have seen that be it BJP or RSS, their training camps are promoting Hindu terrorism." 

Shinde said, "RSS was behind the Samjhauta Express, Meccca Masjid and Malegaon blasts."

He added that the Sangh got all the bombs planted and later blamed it on the minorities.

For the Nation's security we must stay alert, he added.

Irked over Shinde's remark, Bharatiya Janata Party has demanded apology from Congress.

12am: In his address at the Chitan Shivir, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said "We need to tell people the truth about our work-record. The shortcomings in our work needs to be told honestly as well."

He said, "We have worked towards the betterment of backward classes, more than what other previous govts did." 

He said,"We should be proud that we have fulfilled the major promises made in our 2004, 2009 election manifestos." 

"Our polices have taken farmers, rural poor into account. We have highlighted inclusiveness," he added.

He said, "Education, Health and skills development have been the corner-stone of our policies." 

Comparing India's GDP growth during NDA and UPA regimes, Manmohan Singh said, "Compared to NDA govt, UPA has reduced poverty by two and a half times more."

He said,"Yes our growth story has got reduced, but this is not as bad as in other nations."

He said,"Some state government's are taking credit for Centre's progressive polices. We need to tell people that these were started us."

"We have not highlighted our growth efforts. Our communication strategy needs to highlight our achievements to the public." he said.

He said,"Need to encourage public participation of women. It is our responsibility to provide them security."

Shedding light on the foreign policy, "Peace and stability is key to this policy."

He said, they have ensured nuclear equality for India via our agreement policies.

"This era is called Asia's era. I have full faith that India will play a key role in the rise of Asia," Dr Manmohan Singh said.

"Those countries who did not want to have any deals with in nuclear technology are changing their stand," he said.

On ties with Pakistan and LoC violation on 8 January, PM said, "We want friendship with Pakistan, but they also need to cooperate with us. Won't take LoC violation lightly."

He said, "We have stressed that this act (beheadings of Indian jawans by Pakistan) will affect our relations."

He said, "We understand the anger that people have with regard to corruption in our country. We have taken measures to reduce corruption."

Calling for planned development of cities, PM said, "Policies will only bear fruit if they are implemented properly."

He said, "Congress is the only party that can lead this vast and diverse country into the future. We don't play divisive politics."

10.38am: Sonia Gandhi addresses All India Congress Committee session.

On the last day of the Chintan Shivir, Congress President said, "I am particularly delighted with active participation of our younger colleagues at the Chintan Shivir."

She said, "Corruption is a deep rooted malaise, affects all sections of society. As a party, we must battle it."

Talking about the Delhi gang rape case, Sonia said, "Will ensure that the death of the Delhi Gang rape victim does not go in vain."

She added, "Ajivika, expanding of women self help groups, one of our key programs."

Gandhi said,"Every woman and girl in our country has a fundamental constitutional right to feel secure, equal, get respect." 

"I will personally ensure to work towards getting 1/3rd reservation for women in Parliament and State Legislature," Sonia Gandhi said.

She said, "India is a country rooted in a strong federal structure that works for its people and has principled relationship with neighbours."

Agriculture and farmer is central to our programmes. We are committed to India's unity, will fight those who divide us, she said. 

We should understand that people are disillusioned by the political process, we should be sensitive to that and bring changes to that effect, Sonia said. 

She said, "We are forming a committee to process all suggestions that have come here and work on programmes we can implement."

Gandhi said,"Without hesitation I can say that no other party has such a foundation of ideas with purpose."

There are several laws that we have brought in during our term. Its important for Congress to inform people about achievements, people's rights, she said.

"Government has had to take tough decisions due to economic downturn. We have to explain to people why they were needed," she added.

The Congress president said, "Only 15 months left for elections. If we work with unity and discipline there is no reason why we won't get people's mandate again."

10am: Priyanka Gandhi and Robert Vadra arrive in Jaipur for Congress's Chintan Shivir

All set to take on the new role, Rahul Gandhi is expected to make his first speech as Congress Vice President on Sunday.  

Gandhi was formally elevated to the number two position in the Congress party on Saturday after being appointed its vice-president, but his role in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls would be decided later. 

The anointment of the 42-year-old leader nine years after he entered politics was formalised at the meeting of the party's highest policy making body, the Congress working committee (CWC), which unanimously adopted a resolution for this moved by defence minister AK Antony. 

The decision ends prolonged speculation about a bigger role for Rahul, so far one of the 11 general secretaries of the Congress. The speculation focussed on the possibility of his being made working president or secretary general of the party. 

It was clear that the party has stopped short of naming Rahul either as its face in the 2014 polls or as its prime ministerial candidate, obviously, giving itself time to see how the political scenario pans out in the run up to the polls. 

Janardhan Dwivedi, chief spokesperson of the party, who made the much-awaited announcement, told reporters as to what will be Rahul's role in the next election or whether he will lead the election campaign will be decided later.

(With PTI inputs)

 

 

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