Bhubaneswar: Youths should leave aside
their thoughts about the presence of elderly leaders and join
political parties in large numbers, Congress leader Rahul
Gandhi said on Wednesday.
"Do not worry about elderly persons. The door is open
for youths. Let youths join politics in larger numbers," the
Congress general secretary said during an interaction with
students at Saheed Bhavan in Cuttack.
"Our Prime Minister is an elderly person, but he works
like a youth," he said while replying to a question on elderly
persons occupying positions in political parties.
Voicing confidence that youth could bring change in
politics and also contribute in nation building, Gandhi said
the elders were never a hindrance for them.
The AICC General Secretary held interactions with
students at Cuttack and Berhampur on the first day of his
two-day Orissa visit, as youths joined the sessions braving
rain and chilly winds.
Gandhi highlighted the need for youth empowerment at
the gathering of students at Berhampur University as part of
his campus tour.
"Basically he told us about the need for proper
utilisation and empowerment of the youth mass for speedy
development of the country," said Pooja, an engineering
student from Gandhi Institute of Engineering and Technology.
During his 75 minute-interaction at Berhampur, Rahul
drew attention of students to the progress made by India and
Japan in the last five decades, Pooja said.
Referring to Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik`s
anti-Centre campaign, Soumindra Pallur, a student from Ronald
Institute of Engineering and Technology, wanted to know from
Gandhi about the cause of Orissa`s backwardness.
"The Centre never neglected Orissa or any other state
ruled by non-Congress parties," Rahul said.
While students in Cuttack and Berhampur were happy
with their interaction with Gandhi, those at Samblpur were
disappointed as he could not go there.
During the interactions with students, political
leaders and the media were not allowed entry.
Party sources said Gandhi would hold a similar session
with students at Baripada in Mayurbhanj district tomorrow
before winding up his Orissa tour.
Rescheduling his night-halt plan, Congress leader
Rahul Gandhi tonight left Gopalpur in Ganjam district for the
state capital, police said.
"Gandhi is likely to reach the state capital at about
10:30 pm," a senior police officer said, adding that the
reason for his change of night halt was not known.
The Congress leader, who was originally scheduled to
spend the night at Sambalpur, could not fly there due to bad
weather and poor visibility.
As his visit to Sambalpur was cancelled, it was
initially decided that Gandhi would stay at the circuit house
It was later decided, however, that he should proceed
to the state capital by road for the night halt apparently due
to security reasons.