Neemrana (Raj): Amid speculation over Rahul
Gandhi taking a bigger role in Congress, senior party leader
Karan Singh feels that there is "no probable reason" why he
should stay away from the responsibility.
"I was cabinet minister at 36, he is over 40 so there is
no probable reason why he shouldn`t. I assume he will be ready
but what decision is taken will depend really upon (Congress
chairperson) Soniaji (Gandhi) and him, it is between them,"
Singh, a Rajya Sabha member, told PTI on the sidelines of his
third annual lecture at NIIT university here.
He was asked whether Rahul was ready to assume a bigger
responsibility in the party.
The veteran leader also cleared the air about a party
section in Jammu and Kashmir, where Congress is in alliance
with National Conference, reportedly asking for rotation of
"Last time it was on rotational basis when we were in
coalition with the PDP, this time the Congress made a
commitment that National Conference will continue for all six
years. Unless there is some change of heart on both the sides,
I presume that will continue," Singh said.
Asked about the current debate on whether or not the Armed
Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) should be lifted from
certain parts of the state, the titular maharaja of Jammu and
Kashmir said it was between the state government and the army
to sort out.
"There seems to be a sharp difference of opinion. The
army feels very strongly that it shouldn`t be lifted and Omar
feels strongly that it should be lifted partially, so I think
they should sort it out between themselves," Singh said.
He, however, felt that the matter should not have been
given such a hype and should have been solved amicably.
"I am sorry that there should be a public disagreement
like that. It would have been better if things had been done
silently," he said.
The 80-year-old, whose name was in reckoning for the
president`s post last time around, said he was open to
accepting the challenge.
The tenure of the incumbent president, Pratibha Devisingh
Patil, ends in July next year and Singh indicated that he was
ready to take on the mantle if it is offered to him.
"Presidency is not something which you seek, the
presidency is something which you are offered, so if there is
an offer we will see.
"I am always ready for any challenge. I have spent 60
years in public life, I am not afraid of any challenge but I
have never desired for any position whatever came my way I
just kept on performing my duty," Singh said.