Politics of alienation hurts growth, says Rahul

RahulAPNew Delhi: In comments that may be seen as an attack on Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi today said alienation of minorities hurts the country’s growth as he reached out to the industry for partnership in building a “brave empowered new India” with inclusiveness and compassion.

In his first elaborate interaction with the industry, the 42-year-old who is seen as the next Prime Ministerial candidate of Congress dubbed as “irrelevant” the talk about whether or not he would lead the country, saying one individual could not address all the complex problems of the country.

The Congress Vice President shared his vision with the top business leaders of the country during an hour-long interaction at CII meet here, emphasizing on the need for bringing about structural changes to empower common people and providing basic infrastructure in all respects.

“Let us work together to build a brave empowered new India,” Gandhi said while inviting the business to partner the government in ensuring growth.

Underlining that Congress is the only party which believes in taking everyone along, he said the country has witnessed faster economic growth under the UPA because it had greatly lowered tensions among communities and fostered harmony.

“When you play the politics of alienating communities, you stop the movement of people and ideas. When that happens we all suffer. Businesses suffer and the seeds of disharmony are sown and the dreams of our people are severely disrupted,” he said, adding that this damage takes a very long time to reverse.

“The biggest danger is excluding people, including the poor, minorities and dalits… Anger, hatred and prejudice do not help growth. If you alienate communities we all suffer,” he said in comments that could be seen as an attack on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi who is accused of being discriminatory towards minorities. . Noting that millions of youngsters have optimism even as they struggle every day, Gandhi said, “We are readying to build a new political architecture”, in which all voices, including business, will be incorporated.

The country’s “economic vision must be about more than money. It should not leave anybody outside. It must have compassion. Embracing the excluded is essential for wealth of the nation,” he said.

“India is bursting with dreams, optimism and brave ideas.

This optimism is the spirit of India. This energy drives the consumption on which businesses are built,” the Congress Vice President said and told the industry leaders, I have come here to forge long term partnership to take the country forward.”

Gandhi, who is seen as the Congress’ Prime Ministerial candidate, dubbed as an “irrelevant” questions on such matter.

“I got press guys asking when you are getting married. Somebody else saying, boss, when are you going to be the Prime Minister. Somebody saying, no your are not going to be PM, somebody say may be you will be PM. There is good possibility.

“These are irrelevant questions. It’s all smoke,” he said, adding the only relevant question is how to empower one billion people that would solve all problems.

Describing his advent into politics as “an accident of fate” and “DNA” linkage with a particular family, Gandhi said, “I am not a hard-nosed politician… I don’t want to become.”

He sought to dispel the notion that “one person charging on a horse” would fix all the problems of the country. “No, it is not like that,” he added.

“When I read newspapers, I get frustrated. It is always about a person, it is not about voice of people…. If we expect (Prime Minister) Manmohan Singhji or anybody else to solve everything, you are going to keep expecting. If you want to solve it, you have got to move from the person…. I am irrelevant,” he said while laying stress on building structures to deal with problems.

He asked the industry to “unleash opportunities” as he observed that the “political system is clogged. It is not responding.” Faulting the existing systems, Gandhi said these are “closed” as he questioned why all decisions, including smallest ones, should be taken by “the most senior guy”.

He said India needs inclusive growth where there is a “strong connect between harmony and growth” and added that this is the Congress vision.

Congress is the only party which forges partnership with core values to create harmony and an architecture which is accessible to all, he said.

“Inclusive growth is a win-win for everybody… We are creating a fair rules-based environment,” the Congress Vice President said and invited business community to partner this.

Pointing out that the UPA is working for the country’s growth, he said “Government cannot build infrastructure alone.

We are incapable of doing it alone. We need your (industry’s) help. We need to aggressively build knowledge infrastructure.”

Underlining the criticality of the industry in the country’s growth, he said, “India cannot move forward without partnership… I invite business to unleash entrepreneurship.

The country cannot move forward without you.”

He said that there are three components — poor, business, middle class — for the country’s progress. “The country will move forward only when we stitch together all the three components,” he said.

“The UPA rule has seen the fastest growth because of this vision of tolerance. Anger, hatred and prejudice do not contribute to growth. If you alienate communities, we all suffer. When the seeds of disharmony are sown, it affects growth,” he said, adding disharmony hurts business and is “dangerous”.

Describing inclusive growth as “a win-win situation”, Gandhi said Congress is doing the same as lifting people will “smoothen out” a lot of problems.

Talking about systemic problems, he said there is a tendency of solving problems in incremental manner when there is requirement of “exponential” and “radical steps”.

He underlined the need for building basic infrastructure like education for empowerment of common people and asked industry to help in creating skills and jobs.-PTI

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