Congress leaders clamour for larger role for Rahul Gandhi

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 05, 2012 06:11 hrs

New Delhi: Congress leaders have described party's General Secretary Rahul Gandhi's speech at Sunday's mega rally as inspiring, and urged him to take a larger leadership role within the organisation.

Congress leader Rajeev Shukla said Gandhi's speech in defence of the government's decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) among other reforms, gave signs of his qualities as a leader.

"We have been saying for a while now that Rahulji should lead not just the young leaders, but all of us, because he is fully capable of doing so. At the Ramlila Maidan, he spoke at length about how he is committed to the country being taken forward. His speech clearly showed his qualities as a leader," Shukla said.

Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said that the speech exhorted the youth to make the most of a transitional phase in history.

"Rahulji's speech was very inspiring. His message to the youth is that they should be at the forefront in times of change," Scindia said.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Jitin Prasada dismissed opposition criticism, saying that the Bharatiya Janata Party opposed the government to draw attention from the infighting within its ranks.

"As far as the BJP is concerned, their allegations are a ploy to draw attention away from the discord within their ranks. The people are with the Congress. As far as the Congress is concerned, there will be no compromise on national interests," said Prasada.

Addressing a Congress mega rally at the Ramlila Grounds here on Sunday, Gandhi said: "We need economic reforms because only when businesses operate well will there be progress, and then we can run programmes to benefit the poor."

Gandhi vowed to help push through policy changes that will transform India's retail sector by allowing global supermarket chains such as Walmart and Tesco to open in India and tap into its burgeoning consumer market.

"The world is saying that India is standing up," he said, adding "the youth here will show not just India but also the whole world the way forward."

Promising that his party would work more for the nation in the coming years, Gandhi said: "We are in power for eight years, and we have had big achievements...We will work more for the nation in the coming years. We have implemented several schemes and programmes including MNREGA and RTI". 

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