Bangalore, Jan 11, 2014, DHNS
Involving people in the decision-making process of the government, promoting new leadership in political parties, encouraging entrepreneurship, women empowerment, decentralisation of power, rights of sexual minorities.
These and several other suggestions poured in on Saturday at an interaction, ‘Opening Up Political Space and Building a New India’, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi held with young achievers at the Palace Grounds.
People should have a say in every important decision the government takes. It should be a two-way process. Currently, it is one way. The party in power takes unilateral decision on all issues for five years. This system should go, one of the participants is learnt to have said. The media was kept away from the event.
The interaction was aimed at eliciting opinion of youth for preparing the Congress’ manifesto for the coming Lok Sabha polls. About 250 youths aged between 17 and 35 and belonging to diverse sections were invited from across the country for the interaction organised by Rahul’s core team members. The Congress leader has already held two such interactions in Delhi.
Among the participants were students from various institutions of Bangalore, including Jyoti Nivas College, Mount Carmel College and Christ University. Besides, professionals, innovators, activists, researchers, artists, panchayat representatives from various states attended the event.
Students and professionals are learnt to have suggested to the Congress leader to promote young leaders in the party. They also said the government should focus on promoting entrepreneurship, besides job creation. “We need more opportunities, especially in the political sphere, not help,” a young medical professional is learnt to have told Rahul.
Besides, the organisers had kept a dropbox at the venue so that the participants can give written suggestions, if any, to the Congress leader.
Earlier, Union Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot chaired a session on education, innovation and skill development, while Union Information Minister Manish Tewari conducted a session on jobs and entrepreneurship with the participants. The interaction was organised at an open-air arena adjacent to Bangalore Palace.
On women issues, Rahul is learnt to have said that he wanted to focus on women empowerment. “One of the biggest problems in our country is the lack of power to women and the way they are treated. If I want to bring about one change, it would be the empowerment of women,” he stated in response to a question on atrocities against women.
The Congress vice president also used the forum to criticise the Opposition parties. “The Congress party brought about the industrial revolution in India, the technological revolution as well as the socio-political revolution. Our Opposition parties market better, work less. We work more but aren’t good at marketing,” he said.
Later addressing the media, Pilot described the interaction as an attempt by the party leader to enable the country to face the challenges of the 21st Century.
Rahul has decided to make the election manifesto a policy document, which reflects the aspirations of the youth, he added.