Rahul to take up `larger role`: Digvijay Singh

Rahul Gandhi will take up a "larger role" in national politics, says Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh.

Last Updated: Apr 24, 2011, 12:25 PM IST

New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi will take up a
"larger role" in national politics and his taking the party
from the old generation to the young is "sure" to happen, says
Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh.

Singh, who had at the party plenary here in December
last had pleaded that Rahul should build his own team,
however, does not want to go into when the young leader will
play that role saying "that you will see".

"Of course, he (Rahul Gandhi) will take a larger
role," was his response when a news agency asked him whether he sees the
possibility of Gandhi taking bigger responsibilities in the
near future amid projections that he would be the future Prime
Minister.

To a question on whether he agrees with the perception
that the process of the youth taking over key responsibilities
in the party is taking place at a very slow speed, Singh
remarked "slow, but sure". He added that this was bound to
happen.

Asked whether he feels that Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh has become jaded in UPA II with a series of scams
dogging the government, Singh replied in the negative saying
"he was as vigorous in UPA II as he was in UPA I."

Singh also rejected contentions of any disconnect
between the Prime Minister and the party.

"It was not there then and it is not there now," was
his response to a question on whether Prime Minister and the
party are not on the same page on many issues, including the
Lokpal issue.

He did not agree with a suggestion that there appeared
to be a lack of coordination in UPA II and the present
government appeared drifting.

He said similar criticism was happening even during
UPA I but despite all that the alliance returned to power in
2009 Lok Sabha elections. Singh, who is in-charge of party affairs for Uttar
Pradesh, ruled out any alliance in the Assembly elections next
year in the state where the BSP is its "main adversary".

He also made it clear that notwithstanding the
disaster in Bihar Assembly polls last year, Congress will
stick to its "go it alone" policy in Uttar Pradesh, propounded
by young leader Rahul Gandhi. He at the same time said that
some tie-up with smaller parties at local levels can happen.

He added while BSP is the "principal adversary" the
Samajwadi Party is also an adversary there and any sort of
alliance with Mulayam Singh`s party was impractical as the
vote banks of the two parties do not get transferred to each
other.

Singh, who was earlier also in-charge of party affairs
in Bihar for some time, did not agree with the view that the
Bihar results showed that Rahul charishma did not work.

"Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi`s rallies drew huge
crowds in Bihar. But you should have an organisation to turn
the crowds into votes, which was not there," he said.

Besides he said that in Bihar, the ground work was not
done as it was done in Uttar Pradesh in the Parliamentary
elections and the situation is different and results will show
that.

The AICC general secretary, who has twice been Chief
Minister of Madhya Pradesh, ruled out the possibility of his
returning to the state politics saying "there is no question
of it. I have been Chief Minister of the state twice...now new
people should come."

The Congress leader also downplayed his sharing the
dais with former Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh
recently at Farrukhabad saying he had gone there to lay a
foundation stone at the invitation of a personal friend and
had no prior idea that Amar Singh was also invited.

He, at the same time said that he has known Amar Singh
for a long time. "Amar Singh was in Congress Party and was
very close to late Madhavrao Scindia."

Brushing off questions on whether Amar Singh was on
way to Congress, he remarked, "Amar Singh is a personality by
himself. His way of doing politics, his speeches and his way
of interaction with media have no parallel."

PTI