On a three-day visit to Tamil Nadu, Congress general secretary has said that party’s alliance with DMK is intact refuting all speculation to the contrary. The Gandhi scion has also expressed his opposition to the idea of interlinking of rivers saying it will have “severe” environmental implications.
In a press after winding up a series of meetings with Youth Congress workers, Rahul Gandhi said that the election process in the youth wing of the party was devised to draw young people and he was “impressed by the overwhelming response the Youth Congress is getting in the state”.
“The Youth Congress is opening its doors to young energy. The route map for our party to come to power is to go near the people and raise issues affecting them,” said the general secretary who is in charge of the Congress’ youth wing.
However, Gandhi parried queries regarding the Congress going it alone in Tamil Nadu as it did in UP in Lok Sabha elections. The Congress and the DMK for the ruling combine in the state and are part of the ruling United Progressive Alliance at the centre.
“I am one of the architects of the Uttar Pradesh formula,” Rahul Gandhi replied. “The parliamentary election performance was okay for the party. Each state is different. Uttar Pradesh has a particular balance and a particular politics. We did discuss an alliance with the Samajwadi Party but decided to go alone. But it is a shallow idea to apply the Uttar Pradesh formula across the country.”
In response to the question as to why he did not meet DMK supremo and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi during his current trip to Tamil Nadu, Gandhi pointed out: “I did not meet Karunanidhi-ji during my last two trips here either. But that has not had any effect on our alliance.”
Gandhi also said that he was against the idea of interlinking of rivers as it would have “severe” environmental implications.
“It is a disastrous idea. It is an idea that will be extremely dangerous to the environment of the country,” he said.
“I personally won’t support this idea. I am of the view that nature is very, very powerful and I think it is not a good idea to play with the nature on a massive scale.”
When it was pointed out that the political leaders in Tamil Nadu were supporting river linking projects, he said, they were supporting such projects at the state level.