Interview: Rahul Gandhi is ready to take over the Congress

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Rahul Gandhi's absence from Parliament and its timing has been questioned by many persons. While the reason given is that he is on leave to reflect about the party, it is almost certain that at the next All India Congress Committee meeting he will take over as the President of the party from his mother Sonia Gandhi.

Rahul Gandhi's effectiveness in the party has been questioned. However, when it comes to Rahul Gandhi, Madhu Yaskhi Goud the former member of Parliament who continues to be part of the Congress inner circle is optimistic.

Rahul Gandhi

In this interview with Oneindia, Goud speaks extensively about the future of the Congress party and goes on to add that Rahul Gandhi is ready to take over.

Rahul Gandhi's leave of absence from Parliament has been criticized. Your thoughts about the same?

First of all I think a big issue is being made out of nothing. He is not the president of the Party, he is the vice president.

He has sought leave and I find nothing wrong in it. The Congress still has a very active president despite all rumours about her health.

I can understand if Rahul Gandhi was the president of the party and he had remained absent. Would any of you made a fuss if some other MP was absent?

My comment on the issue is that he is on duty and he is preparing to take over as the President of the party. Whatever the case may be he was at least truthful.

Do you like Rahul Gandhi's style of functioning?

Each one has a different style of functioning. I think he is on the right track. However, it would be premature to comment on how his working style would be once he takes over as the president of the party.

When Sonia Gandhi took over as the president she came in for a lot of criticism. Did she not succeed and lead the UPA to victories? There is no need for all of you to worry so much about all this.

Is he ready for the job as president of the Congress?

Yes he is very much ready for the post. He is on the job and trust me, he is not relaxing as many of you would think. He is spending all his time in defining his future duties. Give him some time and stop judging him.

You are an eternal optimist sir. You say he is ready after the results at Maharashtra, Delhi and Haryana?

The results in the states that you have quoted were not a result of his failures. The selection of candidates and the responsibility of the campaign was given to the state leaders. It was a reflection on them. They failed and hence the Congress failed.

Let us leave aside the states. What about the 2014 parliamentary verdict?

You are quick to pounce on him without even verifying some details. If you want to quote 2014, then I will quote 2009. He was solely responsible for the victory of 2009. Give him his credit.

Sir, you have still not answered my question about 2014.

He has done his best. The image of the UPA had taken a beating. It was the government which was to blame. The loss was a result of these factors and not due to Rahul Gandhi.

Do you feel Priyanka Gandhi would have been a better choice?

First give Rahul Gandhi some time before judging him. Priyanka Gandhi is equally involved in the affairs of the party. She stands behind her brother and mother.

Do not believe those rumours about a split in the Congress over Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi. Everyone is happy with Rahul Gandhi.

If everyone was happy then why did Jayanthi Natrajan quit?

To start with Rahul Gandhi never behaved in an extra constitutional manner.

He is mindful of his designation. Where Jayanthi Natrajan was concerned she quit the party thinking she would further her political future.

Even when she was in the ministry, Rahul Gandhi did not bully her. He had only suggested changes and he did it within his own rights.

There were complaints against Jayanthi Natrajan about various issues which included some corruption charges on the transfer of officers. Anyway it is a non issue for the Congress today.

What do you expect out of Rahul Gandhi after he takes over as president of the Congress?

He will change the fortunes of the party. I have worked with him for ten years and I have full confidence in him and his leadership. I have seen how he designed the victory of the UPA in 2009.

Winning and losing is a part of democracy. However the great quality of a leader is not to be deterred by such losses.

When is Rahul Gandhi taking over as president of the Congress?

The announcement will be made in the next session of the All India Congress Committee. Before you ask me, I also will tell you that everyone will be on board and welcome the decision.

Does that mean Sonia Gandhi will retire from active politics?

Everyone in the party wants Sonia Gandhi to be part of the party. She will always be there and will guide all of us. Her continued guidance is required for the party.

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