Gadchiroli/Buldhana, Jan 27 (PTI) Congress GeneralSecretary Rahul Gandhi today favoured direct elections in theYouth Congress and National Students Union of India (NSUI),saying the president of Youth Congress will not be nominatedfrom now on.
Addressing an ''Adiwasi Melawa'' (tribal youth meet) inthe naxal-infested Gadchiroli, Gandhi said the practise ofnominating presidents of these two organisations will be doneaway with.
"I will not select your leader...But you will have toelect your own leader and we are not bothered about his familybackground but surely, will depend on his personality andcapabilities," Gandhi told the audience of tribal youth here.
Later in Buldhana, where he addressed a similar youthmeet, Rahul appealed the youth to join Youth Congress. Casteor religion would not matter but newcomer must not have acriminal background, he said.
Rahul said that tribal were not visible on the nationalplatform. "I want to bring change in the lives of tribal inthe country and want to see them play a bigger role on thenational level in these two organisations," he said inGadchiroli.
Virtually launching a membership drive of the YouthCongress in Maharashtra from this backward region, Gandhicalled on youngsters to join NSUI and Youth Congress.
He also interacted with a couple of young activists, andanswered their queries. .
During the question-and-answer session in Buldhana, Gandhi spoke about eliminating corruption from the grass-rootlevel, and stressed the need for a corruption-freeadministration.
"If you are interested in developing the area, garnersupport from locals and get elected as an MLA instead ofblaming the incompetent MLA," he said.
In Gadchiroli, Maharashtra Chief Minister PrithvirajChavan, who accompanied Rahul, said the UPA government hastaken an important decision of handing over forest land to thetribal, and State government has implemented it in letter andspirit.
The centre was contemplating changes in Tendu Leavesand Bamboo policy to benefit the tribal, he said.
Union Minister for Social Justice Mukul Wasnik, who wasonce NSUI''s national president, also addressed the meet.
Gandhi, with Chavan, Wasnik and MPCC Chief ManikraoThakre, flew into Gadchiroli by a chopper from Nagpur tokickstart his tour to take a stock of the Youth Congressmembership drive in the state.
Unlike his previous visit to Akola, today Ministers, MPsand MLAs were allowed to attend his programmes.