Whether I become PM or not is immaterial: Rahul

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Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said whether he becomes the Prime Minister or not is immaterial but what matters is that all Indians, including women and youth, feel it is their country.

The Congress leader was interacting with tribal youth at an engineering college in Shirpur, as he began his two-day Maharashtra tour.

Responding to best wishes from a youth for becoming the Prime Minister, Mr. Rahul said, “My becoming or not becoming Prime Minister does not matter. What is most important is that everyone here, specially women and youth in country feel that this is their own country.”

Asking youth to enter mainstream politics, the Congress leader said there should not be even one youth who says he is afraid in his own country.

“I want to see MLAs, MLCs and MPs from amongst you in the next 10 years, maybe even a Prime Minister also,” he said.

Comparing Mahatma Gandhi and Hitler, Mr. Rahul said the German dictator shouted as he lacked confidence. But did Gandhiji ever shout? That was because he was confident.”

“Like Mahatma Gandhi, humbleness while speaking is a sign of extreme self-confidence. Confidence should not be seen as aggression,” he said.

“There is no need for saying things aggressively. You can say it with love. Many people will be with you,” he said.

“If anyone, be it Rahul Gandhi or Prithviraj Chavan, says he knows better than you, he is telling a lie,” he said.

“My request to you, specially tribal youth, is to join mainstream politics,” Mr. Rahul said.

“My message to the country’s youth is that the talent and capability the youth here have is not there anywhere else,” the Congress leader said.

On the progress the country has made since Independence, Mr. Rahul pointed out that today there were several rich people in India.

“Around 50 to 70 years ago there was not even a single rich person here. The only rich were maharajas and British,” he said.

“My vision is of fearless Indian in India, that is the kind of country I want to build,” Mr. Rahul said.

“India is the most talented nation in the world. Use that talent and be humble in your approach and respect each other,” he said.

“Change how the world perceives you. It will start believing in you when you start believing in yourselves…You are not less than anyone, be self confident,” Mr. Rahul said.

“Cultural history of India should never be forgotten, take pride in your history, it never goes out of fashion,” he said.

Defending FDI in retail, he said it will prevent wastage of agricultural produce and cold storage chains will be developed.

Representation of tribals is key to their empowerment, Mr. Rahul said. “I want your voice to be heard at state and national level,” the Congress leader said.

Tribal youths should join the political system, and change how the system perceives tribals, he urged.

Mr. Rahul, at whose behest Congress is selecting 16 candidates from across the country through the “primary” system, said, “People must have a say in candidate selection.”

In the afternoon, he will address a public rally at Aurangabad, after which he will interact with people on the Dhule-Shirpur road.

On Thursday, the Congress leader will interact with fishermen at Versova, after which he will address a public rally at Sonale village on Bhiwandi bypass in Thane district.

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