Will consider PM post if MPs select after polls: Rahul
Amethi: Amidst clamour among Congress workers that he should be named the prime-ministerial candidate, Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said he would definitely consider it if the party comes to power and the elected representatives select him for the post.
"In Congress, elected MPs select the PM. After elections if our party comes to power and the MPs select me, then I will definitely consider it," Rahul told reporters on the second and last day of his two-day tour to his parliamentary constituency Amethi.
He was asked whether he would be ready to bear the responsibility of the top post.
Rahul said even Manmohan Singh was selected by the elected representatives as in Congress there is no system of selecting the PM candidate before polls.
"To select a PM is the right of the MPs and it should stay with them. Selecting a PM nominee before polls is not a democratic system, but part of personality cult," he said.
At the CWC meeting held recently, party chief Sonia Gandhi rejected demands by leaders from various states to anoint Rahul the PM candidate before elections, saying there has been no such tradition in the party.
Rahul told reporters in Amethi that "democracy is not strong enough" in Uttar Pradesh and there is too much of personality cult.
"There is too much of personality cult in Uttar Pradesh. In BSP Mayawati distributes the ticket and in SP only one family distributes it. In UP there are only MLAs and they do not have freedom to work properly," Rahul alleged.
When told that even Congress is being run by Gandhi family, he said the party was not run by 10 Janpath and has maximum democracy.
"Democracy is not strong enough in UP. Without associating people, neither the democracy will get strong nor development will take place in the state. I am confident that I will bring Congress government in the state," he added.
Evading direct reply to a question that the party was leveling allegations against the state government, but why it was not opposing it, Rahul said recently the party staged demonstrations against the SP regime and even the state president Nirmal Khatri faced lathis.
Rahul alleged that while the previous Mayawati government halted the entire development of Amethi, the current SP regime overlooked the area on power and road front.
"UP was deprived of development from the last 30 years and unless Congress government comes the situation will remains the same," he said.
Dismissing allegations that development work has been neglected by him in his parliamentary constituency, Rahul said, "We constructed a number of national highways in Amethi due to which this area will be connected with prominent cities in the next five years and industries will be set up."
The local MP said that he had worked for the development in the area, but constructing link roads and power supply are the responsibility of the state government.
He alleged that power situation in the state could not improve as the thinking of the political parties ruling from the last 21 years was not clear.
Lamenting that primary education system in the state is in poor condition, he said running schools is the responsibility of the state government and not that of the Centre.
He said that he had fixed three objectives for Amethi - first, to promote agriculture under which a scheme has been started to set up 40 units of food parks to export local produce, second for education under which several institutes would be established and the third one was for dairy promotion.
He said that seven years ago there was no market for dairy in Amethi and today more than one lakh litres of milk was going out of the area.
"I also developed Fursatganj airport and started Indira Gandhi national aviation academy," he claimed.
On being asked about renaming the district and its division, the Congress leader said he was not concerned about that as he connects with the people of Amethi.
"Amethi is our home, it's a family and we have a long relationship with it," he said.
"Papa (Rajiv Gandhi) had asked me to work with far sightedness and full commitment. I am doing so, here and in Delhi," he said.
Attacking BJP he said, "We got some revolutionary bills passed in Parliament. Those bills were not passed by BJP. Lokpal bill was not passed by BJP, but by us. Whenever a bill comes in the House, BJP opposes it. They have only work to oppose."