The grandson of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi also said that political parties must shun dynasty politics and allow youngsters from apolitical backgrounds to contest in the Lok Sabha and state assembly elections. The 38-year-old first became an MP from Pilibhit in UP in 2009.
Gandhi, a BJP MP from Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh, was in Ranchi to participate in a youth conference. Here, he stressed that transparency in information and creation of robust institutions like the Election Commission of India (ECI) and the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) can check the corruption.
“The roads are not easy for our youth in any profession. I could not have become an MP at the age of 29 years if I was not born in a political family,” Gandhi said while describing the challenges before the country’s youth.
“During the panchayat elections in UP, I told my party leaders to give youngsters a chance (in Panchayats under Sultanpur Parliamentary constituency). I told them that the candidates should not be the sons, daughters or relatives of any panchayat Pradhan. In the end, 60% of them (who were fielded) won,” Gandhi said. “Similarly, political parties must allow fresh blood from apolitical lineages to contest in Lok Sabha and state assembly elections as well,” the politician added.
Gandhi’s remarks came days after BJP, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had attacked the Congress during the campaigning for the May 12 Karnataka assembly polls for promoting dynasty politics and called Rahul Gandhi a ‘Naamdar’.
Gandhi called the practice of MPs giving themselves a salary hike shameful. “I am not against hikes of MPs but against the system where a man can increase his salary just by raising a hand,” the son of Union women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi said.
The two-time MP advocated for the need to implement the Right to Recall bill saying that it can make the country’s democracy participatory. “There is no role of the people once they elect their representatives. This law can give people the power to recall their representatives and strengthen the democracy,” Gandhi added.