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Muslims do not have a single leader with pan-India appeal: Rahul

Thursday July 19, 2012 01:57:30 PM, & Agencies

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New Delhi: Blaming once again the Muslim community for what seems to be the failure of the successive Congress governments at the centre and states, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said after Maulana Abul Kalam Azad the party did not get any minority leader of national stature.


“Name five leaders who have pan-India presence today,” a report in Indian Express quoted Rahul Gandhi as asking a gathering of Muslim Youth Congress leaders on Monday.


When some among the audience named Ghulam Nabi Azad and Salman Khurshid, Rahul dismissed their suggestions saying that Muslims in, say, Andhra Pradesh, will not identify themselves with these leaders.

“We do not even even have five (Muslim) leaders who have pan-India appeal from Kashmir to Kerala,” a Youth Congress leader, who attended the training session at the Vishwa Yuva Kendra, quoted Rahul as saying.

“After Maulana Azad, we have not had a leader with a national stature,” the report quoted him as saying, reminding the audience that at AICC sessions during the Independence movement, there used to be portraits of 30-40 leaders who had the calibre to become the Prime Minister.


“We do not have leaders of that stature today,” he reportedly said.

Rahul was said to have added that he will be satisfied if even 10 leaders of national stature emerge from the younger generation.

The report further added, the IYC sought to play it down, saying that Rahul had made similar observations concerning Dalit and tribal leadership at other IYC workshops in the past. “Can you dispute his conclusion? Do you consider Ghulam Nabi Azad or Salman Khurshid national leaders?” the report quoted a senior IYC office-bearer as saying.

Senior Congress leaders agreed to Rahul’s views, but had their own take on this issue. “Who do you blame if such leaders have not emerged? It is the responsibility of the party leadership to promote and project mass leaders. Instead, we do just the opposite,” Indian Express quoted a Congress functionary as saying.

Rahul Gandhi had issued similar statements while addressing the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) students in 2009.


"It is not about what religion or community you come from, it is what you bring to the table, what capability you have," Rahul had said while addressing the AMU students.


Replying to a question that having come a long way after Independence how much more time will it take for India to have its first Muslim prime minister, he said, "Today, Manmohan Singh is not the Prime Minister of India because he is a Sikh. He is the Prime Minister because he is the most capable person to do the job.


"And let me tell you something that even when you do have a Muslim prime minister, he will be a prime minister because he is the most capable person," 39-year-old Gandhi said.


He told a questioner, "You need to step up and the number of leaders coming out of your community needs to go up.



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Picture of the Day

Mohd. Hamid Ansari filing the nomination papers for the Vice Presidential Election, in the presence of the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Chairperson, National Advisory Council, Mrs.Sonia Gandhi and other dignitaries, at Parliament, in New Delhi on July 18, 2012.



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