Indore: Indian Overseas Congress (IOC) chief Sam Pitroda on Sunday said that Congress president Rahul Gandhi is not a "pappu", asserting that he is "highly educated" and India needs young leadership.
"I have spent a fair amount of time with Rahul to talk about how we will take the country forward. I have great confidence in him contrary to what BJP has been saying about him for the last ten years. He is not a 'pappu'. He is a highly educated, intelligent young man. India needs young leaders," Pitroda said at a press conference here.
"India needs modern mind, it needs mind which is induced with technology, not jumlas (false promises). The country needs a man with character; it needs a leader who feels for the people and who believes in democracy and talks about we, not me. I can assure Rahul brings a lot of good qualities," he said.
Since 2014, trolls on social media have often referred to Rahul Gandhi as a "pappu" (greenhorn).
Pitroda said, "I had a chance to work with his grandmother (Indira Gandhi) and his father (Rajiv Gandhi) very closely. He has the pedigree. It is not about 'chamchagiri' (flattery), not about dynasty but someone who can lead the party forward. India's future and democracy are at stake."
He hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his statement that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was "corrupt number 1".
"I have been hurt when I heard what the Prime Minister spoke about Rajiv Gandhi. PM speaks for the people of the country. He said Rahul's father (Rajiv Gandhi) was corrupt number 1. What is the need to say something like this?" he asked.
"I feel ashamed. I am also a Gujarati and come from the state of Gandhi ji. He (Modi) spread lies. People of this state can lie so much and speak such lowly things, this saddens us," Pitroda said.
Attacking the BJP-led government, the IOC chief said: "Zero jobs were created, zero smart city. Farmers are restless now. They were promised doubled income, (but) no steps were taken to bring black money back. Demonetisation was a disaster...They are not paying attention to it. Instead, they boast of what happened (Balakot strike) in Pakistan."
"Nobody is talking about main issues because nothing has been done in five years. We need your scorecard, it is too bad that even you (BJP) do not want to talk about it," he said.
Pitroda alleged the country's institutions have been captured by the BJP.
"We are seeing that institutions like judiciary, Election Commission and ED have been captured... Election Commissioner has to think whether he is the country's EC or a party's EC," he said.
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