"Our opposition markets better, works less. We work more but aren't good at marketing," he said during a brainstorming session at the National Congress' Consultation for the National Youth and Students' Manifesto here.
Congress was the only party that could take every Indian together - rich, poor, Hindu or Muslim, he told the close-door session attended by young Indians from varied backgrounds, including students, professionals, innovators, activists, researchers, artists and panchayat representatives.
The Congress Vice-President said the fundamental reason for inadequate space for the youth in politics was the process of selecting candidates. "The fundamental reason why there is inadequate space for the youth in politics is that the process of entry and promotion are not transparent. The real problem is the process of selecting candidates," he added.
"Does any party ask the people who the candidate from their area should be?" he told the participants who were joined by senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh, Union Ministers Manish Tewari, Sachin Pilot and Jitendra Singh. Infosys co-founder and head of Aadhar programme Nandan Nilekani, who is planning to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Bangalore on Congress ticket, was also in attendance.
Gandhi stressed that bringing about a change involved creating institutions and processes that empower people. "Building systems takes time, it is not easy as it looks," he said. Gandhi, whose remarks were circulated to the media, said true empowerment needs to be sustainable and long-term. "Short term empowerment is in fact disempowerment."