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Rahul faces embarrassing moments

Slamming Modi's ambitious Swachh Bharat campaign, Gandhi asked students do you see India clean, to which most replied in a huge 'yes'

Press Trust Of India 

Rahul Gandhi, Mount Carmel College
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi greet students on his arrival at a interactive session with students of Mount Carmel College in Bengaluru. Photo: PTI

Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday faced some embarrassing moments when a large section of his student audience at a women's college responded with a resonating 'yes' to his poser, whether they thought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious 'Swachh Bharat' and 'Make In India' campaigns were working.

Gandhi asked the students whether 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' (Clean India Mission) was working, to which most replied in a huge 'yes.' The Congress MP again asked the students if they thought the 'Make in India' programme was really working and the students again gave the same reply, making the leader apparently uncomfortable. Gandhi hastened to tell the audience that he differed with them. "You might see it I don't," said Gandhi, adding,"Anyway, I don't clearly see a vision that the BJP is projecting." The interaction was the first in the series of Gandhi's outreach to the students across the campuses in the country.

Rahul later talking to reporters said the nature of the response of the students to his questions were not clear.

"Actually it was not clear. On 'Swachh Bharat', half the room said nothing had happened and some said something had happened. On 'Make in India', I think more people said not much had happened, some said things have happened".

The kind of response by the students to Rahul's poser led BJP to say his "disconnect" with the ground was "exposed" and shown through the mirror by the youths of the country.

"When asked about Swachh Bharaat Abhiyan and Make in India, the youths of this country said that these concepts are moving ahead and Rahul was shocked. Why was he shocked? Because of the very fact that he has a great disconnect, he does not know the vibrations on the ground. Leave aside the country, he cannot lead the youths of the country," BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said.

He said Rahul has "no capacity" to lead even the youths not to speak of the country. "His ignorance was snubbed by the young students," he said.

BJP Secretary Sidharth Nath Singh said Gandhi's interaction with students at Bengaluru should caution Congress Party and leadership that Indian youth is not willing to accept "obstructionist and negative" agenda of Congress.

"The snap poll done by RG is a good indicator that PM Modi's initiative like 'Swachh Bharat', 'Make in India' and others have strong support of the youth. It was quite heartening to learn that Indian youth had straight questions on why GST and other reforms are being blocked.

"We hope RG and Congress would learn from the interaction that Indian Youth want Parliament to function and therefore they would not disturb the winter session," he said.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, however, said Gandhi answered questions unlike Prime Minister Modi and this is the way for the country's leader to interact.

"This is the way, the leader of the country should interact with the young and the countrymen everywhere -- sometimes disagreeing with them, sometimes agreeing with them and aswering their basic inquisitiveness on how India should look in 5 years, 10 years and 20 years. Rahul ji has answered, what no other political leader has done.

First Published: Thu, November 26 2015. 00:23 IST