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  World   Americas  12 Sep 2017  Ready to be 2019 PM candidate: Rahul Gandhi at University of California

Ready to be 2019 PM candidate: Rahul Gandhi at University of California

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Sep 12, 2017, 9:25 am IST
Updated : Sep 12, 2017, 12:41 pm IST

During his speech at the prestigious American university, Rahul said the Congress had broken the back of terrorism in Kashmir by 2013.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi at University of California. (Photo: Twitter | ANI)
 Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi at University of California. (Photo: Twitter | ANI)

Berkeley: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi hinted at an US university interaction Tuesday that he was ready to be the Prime Ministerial candidate in the 2019 general elections.

Rahul began his two-week US trip on Tuesday, and his first stop was the University of California, Berkeley.

During a chat, the moderator asked Rahul: “When the UPA was in power, there was a great clamour for you to be part of the exedcutive, become a Cabinet minister, the Prime Minister… In 2014, they wanted you to be the Prime Ministerial candidate which you declined. And you are very likely to face the same demand in 2019. Are you ready to now take charge in an exedcutive role?”

Rahil answered: “I am absolutely ready to do that. But the way our party works… We have an organisational election process that decides that. That process is currently ongoing. To say that decision would be mine, would not be fair. That is being decided by the party.”

To the moderator further probing whether Rahul was open to the idea, hew said: “Yes”.

Addressing the students, Rahul Gandhi blamed Narendra Modi for violence in Kashmir, saying the Prime Minister opened up space for terrorists in the valley.

During his speech at the prestigious American university, Rahul said the Congress had broken the back of terrorism in Kashmir by 2013, but it returned when the BJP forged an alliance with the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir.

“By 2013, we basically broke the back of terror, I hugged (then) prime minister Manmohan Singh and told him it was one of the biggest achievements,” Rahul said.

“So he (Modi) massively opened up space for the terrorists in Kashmir, and you saw the increase in violence,” Rahul added.

Rahul also admitted that arrogance had crept into the Congress party around 2012 and “we stopped having conversations with people”.

Rahul, who is on a two-week trip to the United States, addressed the students of University of California on contemporary India and the path forward for the world's largest democracy.

His great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister, delivered a speech at Berkeley in 1949.

Here are the highlights of his speech:

  • What I sense is he doesn't converse with people he works with, even members of Parliament and BJP tell me that: Rahul Gandhi on PM
  • He knows how to give a message to 3-4 different groups in a crowd, so his messaging ability is very effective and subtle:Rahul Gandhi on PM
  • Mr. Modi has certain skills,he is a very good communicator, much better than me: Rahul Gandhi
  • So he(PM Modi) massively opened up space for the terrorists in Kashmir, and you saw the increase in violence: Rahul Gandhi
  • PDP was instrumental in bringing youngsters in politics, but the day PM Modi made alliance with PDP, he destroyed them(PDP): Rahul Gandhi
  • By 2013,we basically broke the back of terror, I hugged PM Manmohan Singh and told him it was one of the biggest achievements: Rahul Gandhi
  • When we started, terrorism was rampant in Kashmir, when we finished there was peace, we had broken the back of terrorism: Rahul Gandhi
  • For 9 years I worked behind the scenes with PM Manmohan Singh, P Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh and others on J&K: Rahul Gandhi
  • Tremendous machine, all day they spread abuse about me, and the operation is run by the gentleman who is running our country: Rahul Gandhi
  • There is a BJP machine,about 1000 guys sitting on computers&telling you about me: Rahul Gandhi on question of being a reluctant politician
  • Mr. Modi clamped down on RTI. He shut it down.We got in trouble as we dramatically increased transparency: Rahul Gandhi
  • Even Mr. Abhishek Bachchan is a dynast, also Mr Ambani, that's how entire country is running: Rahul Gandhi
  • Most of the country runs like this, so don't go after me, Akhilesh Yadav a dynast, Mr Stalin a dynast, Mr Dhumal's son a dynast: Rahul Gandhi
  • I am absolutely ready for that, but our party works acc to organizational elections: Rahul Gandhi in UC, Berkeley, on taking up executive role
  • Core constituency of right wing leaders are those who cannot get a job: Rahul Gandhi
  • Around 2012, arrogance crept into Congress party and we stopped having conversations with people: Rahul Gandhi
  • Congress decides policy and vision through conversations and not by imposition: Rahul Gandhi

Tags: rahul gandhi, narendra modi, university of california, berkeley address
Location: United States, California, Berkeley