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Have Made My Decision, Will Answer If I Don't Stand For Polls: Rahul Gandhi On Being Congress Chief Again

Have Made My Decision, Will Answer If I Don't Stand For Polls: Rahul Gandhi On Being Congress Chief Again

Rahul Gandhi said he is not leading the yatra but is only participating in it. Asked if he would become the Congress president, he said, "Whether I become president or not, this will become very clear when the presidential elections of the Congress party take place."

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi PTI

Keeping cards close to his chest, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said he has made the decision whether he wants to become the next party president or not and asserted he will give his reasons if he does not contest the upcoming elections.

Gandhi was asked a slew of questions at a press conference on whether he would assume the mantle of the party president and he repeatedly said he would give an answer if he does not enter the fray, indicating that the likelihood of him sticking to his stance of not taking up party chief's post is more.

He also said the Bharat Jodo Yatra will help in forging Opposition unity even though that is a separate exercise. It is the responsibility of the entire Opposition to come together and discussions are in progress, he added.

The Kanyakumari-Kashmir Bharat Jodo Yatra of the Congress began on Wednesday. Gandhi said he is not leading the yatra but is only participating in it. Asked if he would become the Congress president, he said, "Whether I become president or not, this will become very clear when the presidential elections of the Congress party take place."

"Wait till that time when that time happens you will see and if I don't stand, you can ask me 'why didn't you stand' and I will answer the question for you," Gandhi told reporters. He, however, asserted that he has "very clearly" decided what he is going to do. "There is no confusion in my mind about what I am going to do," he asserted.

On being pressed on the issue by reporters, Gandhi reiterated that the election of the Congress president is going to happen and when that takes place, there will be clarity. The president's election will take place and your questions will be answered, he told reporters.

Gandhi had resigned as the Congress president in 2019 taking moral responsibility for the party's poll drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections. Sonia Gandhi was appointed as the interim Congress president after Rahul Gandhu refused to withdraw his resignation.

Nominations for the Congress president's election will begin on September 24 and will end on September 30, and in case of a contest the election will be held on October 17 and the counting on October 19.

The former Congress president also responded to the BJP over its 'Parivar Bachao' remark, saying the yatra is being undertaken to undo the damage done by the BJP-RSS of spreading hatred in the country. He said everybody has an opinion, the BJP has one and so does the RSS.

"They are free to have. For us in rhe Congress, this is a journey and an attempt at understanding what is going on in India and an attempt at undoing the damages that have been done by BJP and RSS," he said.

Responding to a question on leading the yatra, Gandhi said to put it in prospective, the Congress has decided to do the padyatra across the country and as a member of the party and a person who agrees with its ideology, he is participating it. 

"People do not have employment; people do not have work, that is very clear. 2 or 3 big businesses are controlling everything; the third richest men is now in India, who is probably going to become the richest very soon, close confidante of the leader of the country, that is not harmonious. You have massive price rise, that is not harmonious. So, for me, India is a conversation between its people and that conversation has broken down," Gandhi said. 

Asked about the names of cities, roads railway stations being changed, he said there is "total bankruptcy" in vision for what is to be done in future, so to divert attention, names are changed. His remark came a day after Prime Minister inaugurated the newly-christened Kartavya Path, the stretch of road from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate earlier known as Rajpath.  

Gandhi said it is not just the government but deeper than that - India is lacking now a vision for itself.  He also said that the Congress is not against corporate India but against powerful monopolies and unfairness. Gandhi said he agreed to join this yatra because he believes in the ideals of the Congress and partially because he thought personally it will be a very good experience for him.

"I thought it would be worthwhile to do that from a personal journey perspective. For me it is both these things. Of course these days in politics that is not fashionable. It is a different way if thinking about things, it is a different way of looking at things," he said. "Hopefully I will get some understanding about myself and get some understanding about this beautiful country from this yatra and I think three-four months later, I will be wiser," he added. 

(With PTI Inputs)

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