No knowledge of Akhilesh resignation on coterie issue-Rahul

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Cuttack, May 13 (UNI) AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi today said he has no knowledge that one MP has resigned because he was moving in a coterie.

''I did not know if the MP has resigned on this issue,'' Mr Gandhi said when newsmen asked him that Mr.Akhiles Das had resigned from the party because of a coterie moving around him.

''In politics if I work with anybody and it is construe as coteries then what can I say,''Mr.Gandhi remarked.

He was here to address the concluding convention of the state level dalits and the tribals, held at two separate venues where even the state congress leaders were not allowed to participate except Pradesh Congress Chief Jayadev Jena.

Mr.Gandhi also refused to comment on Mr.Arjun Singh projecting him as future Prime Minister stating '' he (Mr.Singh) is a very senior leader in the party and I do not want to comment on him.'' On being asked whether his address to the dalits and the tribals has any electoral consideration,Mr Gandhi quipped ''Do I look like interested in electoral politics''.

He said during his last visit to the state he had noticed that the dalits and the tribals were not adequately represented in the Congress, more particularly in the youth Congress.

The convention, he said was an effort to infuse the leadership quality among the dalits and the tribals. He further said democracy in the youth congress was a fundamental issue and ''we are working on it''.

On being asked about the performance of the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh on completion of one year term, Mr.Gandhi said it was for the people of Uttar Pradesh to rate the performance.

Earlier on his arrival from Angul, Mr.Gandhi addressed the state level tribal youth convention where he met the tribal youths drawn from all over the state and interacted with them. He then addressed the dalits youth leadership convention at another place in the city.

UNI DP ADG RL KN2310

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