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Congress needs to change, process has begun: Rahul

By EMN Updated: Feb 25, 2014 11:55 pm

Guwahati, February 25

[dropcap]C[/dropcap]ongress vice president Rahul Gandhi today said there is a need to change the Congress party and the first step in this direction was to make the selection of candidates seeking party ticket from among the people.
“There is a need to change the party and we will do it fast. The first step in this direction is to make the selection of candidates from among the people. The process has begun,” Gandhi said at a rally at the Assam Veterinary Field here.
“We have initiated selection of candidates through primaries in some constituencies of the country with Guwahati being one of them. Soon the process will be extended to more and more constituencies,” he said.“In future, I want all candidates of the party to be elected through elections. Anybody can aspire to contest the elections within the party and so people from all sections can be part of the selection process,” Gandhi said.
Earlier in the day, Gandhi said he was not in favour of family members of politicians getting party tickets to contest polls.
“I am not in favour of giving tickets to family members of Congress leaders and want to change this trend,” he said during an interaction with representatives of nine Autonomous Councils at the Karbi Anglong Sports Association stadium at Diphu.
People should elect their own representatives, he said adding he had already started the process in this direction.
In Guwahati, he said that the party also needed to give more power to the people, particularly to women.
“I want to empower women. Here at the rally, I am seeing more men than women but in future, I want to see more or equal women in future. In the next five years, we will strive for 50 per cent representation for women in Parliament and all assemblies,” he added.
He also said that he did not want power; power should be given to people to do development work. There were two types of leaders: one who gave power to people and the other wanted power from the people.
“…I am not like that. I don’t want your power. I want all of you to get power. I want to empower Assam and India,” he said.
Gandhi said that Congress wanted uplift of 70 crore people above the BPL category to the middle-class. He said in the last 10 years, 15 crore people had been lifted out of poverty. “It is simply historical,” he remarked.
As supporters raised slogans of ‘BJP murdabad’, he said, “Do not use the word murdabad, unhe gussa karne dijiye, Congress pyar ka party hai (Let them use anger, Congress is a party of love).
“Congress sirf ek party nahi hai, ek soch hai (Congress is not merely a party, but a thought). It is like a vase where there is place for everybody,” he said.
The Congress believed that it was the people and not the leaders who were taking the country toward progress and development for the last 70 years and would continue to do so in the future, Gandhi added.
Gandhi also asked Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to assist the family of the farmer activist who died after setting himself ablaze here.
“The incident of self-immolation was very sad and I have asked Gogoiji to help the family in all possible ways,” Gandhi said at a rally here.
“Pyar se kaam kijiye. Congress pyar ki party hai, hinsa ki nahi. (We have to work with love. Congress is a party of love and not violence).
Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti activist Pranab Boro immolated himself outside the state secretariat yesterday, demanding land deeds, following which his organisation called a 12-hour Guwahati bandh protesting his death.
Gandhi said the attack and killing of Arunachal Pradesh student Nido Tania was “unfortunate and strict laws have to be brought in to deal with such incidents.
“Nido was our MLA’s son and I feel very bad when I hear about such incidents,” he said.
People from the North East must feel at home wherever they go and there should be no discrimination against them.
“I had once gone to a hotel, where I asked the owner why they appointed so many youths from the North East and he said that they did their work very well. This is the general perception about the people of North East,” he said.


By EMN Updated: Feb 25, 2014 11:55:37 pm