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Win people's trust, Rahul exhorts youth Congress leaders

Tuesday November 29, 2011 05:38:28 PM, IANS

New Delhi: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Tuesday exhorted youth leaders of the party to win the trust of the people and learn to lead.

"The only thing you will ever have as a political leader is the trust of your people. Gandhiji maintained this trust till the day he died. In fact he maintains it today as I speak. Try not to lose this trust," Gandhi told Indian Youth Congress delegates at a convention here.

"Today, many political leaders lead by telling people what they want to hear. People who tell others what they want to hear are not called leaders.

"They are called followers. Learn to lead. Test your ideas. Challenge your thoughts. Create mutinies within yourselves and others around you," the 41-year-old son of party president Sonia Gandhi said, lauding the IYC's election process in which 10 million people participated.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and cabinet ministers were present.

The convention is being attended by 7,000 delegates at the Japanese Park in Rohini in northwest Delhi. This is the largest convention of IYC delegates since Gandhi took charge of the youth wing in 2007. Tuesday was the last day of the two-day event.

Gandhi also asked the young leaders to develop a relationship with people.

"Learn to listen to people. Listen to and respect your opponents because they guide you. But most importantly, learn to recognise and fight for the truth.

"Finally, understand that leadership in our tradition is not about taking but about giving. It is not about leading people but about leading yourselves," he said as the crowd cheered him.

Giving the example of Mahatma Gandhi, the Congress leader said that the father of the nation "truly represents the soul of India".

"He challenged, questioned and refined every idea he ever had. He developed leadership in people around him by encouraging them to do the same.

"Today we don't have a Gandhiji. That is why we are using a system of elections and democratization that will enable the youth Congress to open itself to the youth of our nation," said Gandhi.

He said the system of periodic elections will ensure that the youth of India have the opportunity to elect their own leaders every two years.

The two-day convention comes ahead of elections next year to the state assemblies of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa. The gathering is the first national level function of the party after Sonia Gandhi underwent surgery abroad for an undisclosed illness in August.








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