UPA govt honest in curbing inflation: Rahul Gandhi

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Bangalore, Mar 29: Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi today said the United Progressive Alliance Government headed by Manmohan Singh has accorded top priority to curb the soaring inflation rate. Interacting with media representatives at the party office here, after his hectic five-day visit to Karnataka, he said the Union government had achieved tremendous growth on all fronts in the last four years.

He said he was aware of the criticism made by Communist Parties supporting the Alliance and said the government was making sincere attempts to bring down the inflation. "Our PM is an economic expert and he is making sincere attempts in this direction," he added. On his party's defeat in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, he said he saw political system in a long term perspective and intend to bring about changes in the system gradually. "For me it is still a learning process," he added. Mr Gandhi did not react to a question related to his meeting with Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani recently and merely said it was a personal discussion which he did not want to discuss.

Asked whether there was internal squabbles in the state Congress he said the state party unit was brimming with confidence and energy. On prjecting a leader for the state Chief Ministership in the event of the party coming to power, he said it was for the top leadership of the party to decide. "As I have seen in last four days and after interacting with the state leaders, I feel there is no internal differences and it is only a media creation," he remarked.

Mr Gandhi lambasted those who criticised the waiver of farm loans announced by the UPA government and said it was one of the honest efforts of the government to 'wipe out poverty'. Answering another question he said his surname had helped him to some extent to come up in politics and exhorted to those youth, whose parents were not in politics, to join it.

On retirement age in politics, he said while youth brought energy, the senior leaders possessed a lot of experience. There was a need to blend both energy and experience to maintain the balance, he felt.

Commenting on former Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy's charge that he was copying his idea of visiting villages and closely interacting with the local people, he said he genuinely wanted to learn about the problems faced by the villagers. In the process if Mr Kumaraswamy felt that he was copying the idea, "well I am happy," he added.

He said Karnataka was identified as one of the most forward states some years ago, but over the last few years the new type of governance had proved to be 'destructive' for the state.

"Will you have a government always indulging in fighting instead of solving the problems of people. This will badly affect the service delivery system of schemes meant for the people," he said.

Winding up the tour of the state, he denied that his programme was scheduled keeping in view the influence of any political rivals in the state.

He was ready to tour the state again and engage himself in campaigning for the party if the party leadership directed him to do so. "This trip was a powerful and good experience to me personally," he added.

UNI

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