Varanasi: Making it
clear that he was not obsessed with becoming the prime minister,
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Monday said his mission
was to change Uttar Pradesh and the coming assembly polls would be
"solid" for the party.
Addressing a press conference here, Gandhi dismissed speculation
that he was in the race for prime ministership.
"Rahul Gandhi's obsession is not to be PM. Rahul Gandhi's
obsession is to work for the people," he said.
"All the political leaders in India, all the top ones, have an
obsession with prime ministership. This is not Rahul Gandhi's
obsession. I have another obsession."
"My mission is to change UP, bring development to UP...You will
see Rahul Gandhi in villages, in slums, in agricultural fields."
Targeting the Bharatiya Janata Party over corruption, he said its
leader L.K. Advani and some others had laughed at him for his idea
of constitutional status to Lokpal but a constitutional status for
Lokpal was "India's idea".
He said there is a "beauty" in the design of the Election
Commission which has constitutional status. "Let us make a Lokpal
bill along the same lines."
He said Advani overlooked corruption in BJP-ruled states during
his anti-corruption yatra.
"Whenever there has been a problem of corruption in the Congress
party, any place, any time, we will take action. We have put
ministers in jail."
Gandhi said he was not concerned about winning or losing the
assembly elections that have very high stakes for the Congress.
"Frankly, I am not concerned about what the results are," he said,
but denied he was conceding defeat.
"I am not conceding defeat, I am conceding victory. Elections
results for the Congress will be solid."
"People are looking up to the Congress seriously. This is what
people told us. The common man in Uttar Pradesh is telling me they
have been fooled for the last 22 years."
"Mission 2012 is your (media) coined term. It is not mine," the
Congress leader replied to queries if his Mission 2012 would be
"What is going on in UP for the last 22 years is a crime, nothing
less than that," he said, adding he was confident that Uttar
Pradesh has the energy to transform itself.
"I have learnt what it means to passionately believe in an idea. I
have realised the power of the people of the state. I have
realised that this state can stand on its feet very soon," he
Gandhi said his mission was to strengthen the Congress in the
state where it has been out of power for the last 22 years.
"Once the Congress party is strengthened, it will define whatever
happens in the state," he said, adding that the party would be
strengthened if it wins 100 seats or a little less.
Gandhi said it was vital to hear to voice of the people. "I have
no strength. I listen to people."
He asserted that black flags, shoes or even bullets would not
deter him. "Main kisi se nahin darta (I am not afraid of
anything)," he said.
Gandhi said his work would not be complete till common people,
farmers, labourers get their due respect whether the party gets
200 or 400 or two seats.
He said the Congress will not have truck with any party as he has
come here to bring about a change.