''The general elections would be held on time,'' Mr Gandhi said, while addressing newspersons here, after concluding his four-day Orissa tour aimed at acquainting himself with the people.
Mr Gandhi parried a question as to whether the Congress would have any truck rpt truck with the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh, saying that the Congress party president may be able to say about it. He described the debt relief to the farmers as announced in the Union Budget as the duty stating that they (farmers) deserved to be thanked for their service they were doing for the country. On whether the Congress would project a Dalit as a prime minister in the next election, Mr Gandhi quipped that if a dalit was capable he would definitely be projected. Mr Gandhi said he has some radical ideas for strengthening the youth Congress and its organisational elections, which would be worked out soon.
The AICC General Secretary denied that his four-day tour to the state had any thing to do with the election saying that it was a media creation by branding it as a Discovery India campaign. ''There had been a distance between the politicians and the people who vote for them but I have to be close to them as long as I remain in politics,'' Mr Gandhi said, adding that his visit to Orissa should not be compared with the visit to Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat where the purpose was altogether different.
On the nuke deal issue, Mr Gandhi said the prime minister was already at work and the government was operating with the alliance to find a speedy solution.