Rahul comes out of shell, ready for PM mantle

Gandhi scion set to follow party order

Rahul comes out of shell, ready for PM mantle

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has said he is ready to take up any responsibility the party chooses to give him.  

Simultaneously, he also expressed aversion to personality-based politics and even wanted to know why any discussion involving him “ends in an argument over a particular post.”

In an interview with a vernacular daily, the 43-year-old maintained he was a “soldier of the Congress and will follow whatever order is given to me.”

Asked whether he would assume the responsibility of the prime minister, Gandhi said: “The people of India, through their elected representatives, will decide who their prime minister will be. In the interests of the nation, it is necessary for the Congress to come to power. For that purpose, the responsibility the organisation has given to me or what will be given to me in the future, I will carry it out with full dedication.” 

Gandhi’s remarks come at a time when there is a growing demand from within the Congress to declare him the party’s prime ministerial candidate to take on a resurgent Bharatiya Janata Party led by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Gandhi also sought to put to rest speculation over his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s electoral debut. “Priyanka is my sister and friend. At the same time, she is an active worker of the Congress. She is working to strengthen me and the organisation. I don’t think she will have any electoral role,” he said.

On the perception that he came across as a reluctant leader, Gandhi first appeared to be evasive but later declared: “There is no word such as ‘reluctance’ in my life.”

He said his remark at Jaipur last year that “power is poison” was merely an observation and should not be construed as his reluctance in assuming responsibility.

 “Whenever you get power, there are some dangers associated with it. One should know how to deal with the dangers that come with it. Power is poison means use power for the welfare of people and do not use it to make yourself more powerful,” he said.

Gandhi said the upcoming election would be exciting, and he was confident that the Congress would perform well.

Senior leaders said there was an increasing demand from within the party for Gandhi being projected as the prime ministerial candidate.

All India Congress Committee general secretary Ambika Soni has said there is an overwhelming view that Gandhi should lead the 2014 Lok Sabha poll battle, while Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said the party has consistently said Gandhi is its natural leader.

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