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Decision on Priyanka's entry into politics was taken some years back: Rahul


IANS  |  Bhubaneswar 

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday said the decision on the entry of his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's into was taken some years back.

"I read in the media that this was a decision taken over the last 10 days. Actually, the decision was taken some years back," said Gandhi at a town hall meeting here titled 'Reimagining India -- Can Odisha show the way?'

"I have been having discussions with my sister about her joining and her push-back to me was that my children are very young and that I need to spend time looking after them," said Rahul.

"Now her children have reached an age where one of them has gone to the university and another is about to go to a university. So, that was the discussion we have been having for a while now," he said.

Rahul also spoke about his relationship with Priyanka.

"You have to understand my relationship with my sister. We have been through a hell of lot together. Everybody thinks we come from an illustrious family and everything is easy. It's actually not that easy. My father assassinated, my grandmother was assassinated and huge political battles... so we have been through a very hard sort of situation. That has brought us very close together," said the Congress President.

"Our way of operating is we give each other space. If I say to my sister that I want that space, my sister would tell the space is yours. If my sister says she wants that space, then I would tell that space is your," he said.

Replying to a query whether Priyanka would campaign in Odisha, Rahul said they have not decided on that yet.

"We will have to see exactly where she will campaign. That is probably something we would decide. We have not decided right now. But her main job as we have discussed is to help revive the Congress party's idea in Uttar Pradesh," said Rahul.

Rahul Gandhi slammed the BJP and the ruling BJD in Odisha, saying both follow the "same Gujarat model" in which there is a "deal" between the Chief Ministerial candidate and industrialists and governance is later handed over to key bureaucrats.

"The BJP model and the BJD model are the same as Gujarat model. It's a very simple deal between the Chief Ministerial candidate and industrialists who fund his campaign. The Chief Minister hands the state over to key bureaucrats who run it," Gandhi said.

He said "we allow our leaders to talk to each other" and added that the Congress was not "a bureaucratic dictatorship".

"My model is that people know more about their state than I do and I intend to learn from them. When we run a state, we listen to the people. That's not how (Narendra) Modi or Naveen Patnaik think. Has Modi or Patnaik ever had such conversations with you?" Gandhi asked.

"Modi thinks he knows about everything. The BJP and BJD don't have a feedback loop and that's the big difference between them and the Congress," he added.

Gandhi said the key problems before the country were jobs, farm distress and credit to small businesses and there was a need to rethink the development paradigm.

He said China far outpaces India in job creation and that the Modi government had failed to deliver on its various promises, including one on providing employment.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Fri, January 25 2019. 22:06 IST