No bar on Muslim as PM, says Rahul

No bar on Muslim as PM, says Rahul

Cong leader silent on Liberhan report

No bar on Muslim as PM, says Rahul

At a time when the Lok Sabha was discussing the Liberhan Commission report, Rahul interacted with the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) students where he neither spoke on the report nor on the vexed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid issue and instead confined himself to the youth-related issues.

“Prime ministership is not related to one’s religion or community...any one in India can become PM if he has the capability,” Rahul said when asked how long will it take for India to have its first Muslim prime minister.

Elaborating the young Congress leader went on to say that Dr Manmohan Singh was not the Prime Minister of India because he was a Sikh but because he had the capability to lead the nation.

Similarly, if there was a Muslim prime minister, he would not be so because of being a Muslim but for being the most capable person, he added.  “We should talk about Indian leadership rather than Sikh, Muslim or Hindu leadership,” he said.

The Congress leader said that he believed in the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi who used to say that the leaders should always be picked up from the society. “There are enough people in this room (the venue) who can be leaders at the national level,” he said to the applause of the participants.

Rahul also emphasised the need for more Muslim youths to join mainstream politics. “How many Muslim leaders are there at national level,” he asked.  Rahul made it clear that there was no place for criminals and fundamentalists in the Congress party. In response to a query he said that he had been brought up in a family which did not believe in caste system.

On granting of minority status to the AMU, Rahul said that he would take up the matter with the appropriate authorities. Rahul’s appeal apparently made its way to the hearts of the AMU students. “It is time to forget the old wounds (Babri Masjid) and build a fresh,” quipped Farhad, a student of AMU.

Rahul was on a two-day visit to Uttar Pradesh to boost the ongoing membership drive of the Youth Congress and find prospective leaders from the state.