Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) chairman Farooq Abdullah today said Congress president Rahul Gandhi should be given more time to prove his mettle as a national leader.
Speaking at an event in Bharat Chambers here, Mr Abdullah said Gandhi has proved himself by leading the Congress to victory in assembly elections in three states recently. “Rahul Gandhi is no longer a Pappu. He has proved his mettle by winning three states,” he said
Mr Gandhi has often been mocked by the BJP and his opposition as “Pappu”,a colloquial sneer.
“He was called Pappu all this while, but he has proved his mettle with the victory in the three elections. Now he can’t be called Pappu any more,” Mr Abdullah said. Referring to Gandhi’s father and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, the National Conference leader said, “He was a pilot, but after becoming Prime Minister he gave India a free economy”.
Mr Abdullah said it was necessary to project young leaders in India to ensure the nation’s progress. The NC leader said no religion was greater than the other and urged people to understand and respect people of other communities.
Observing that no one cared about religion during blood transfusion in hospitals, he said, “Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians have the same blood flowing through their veins.” Mr Abdullah apprehended that a day might arrive when the oppressed class revolts against the politicians and privileged sections for not giving them their due.
Pointing out that economic development and employment is extremely necessary to reinstate peace in the Valley and bring the youth of Kashmir away from violence, Abdullah said if voted to power, his government would ensure investment-friendly policies.
Earlier, participating in another programme, Abdullah said the youth of the nation had lost direction, and took an apparent dig at the BJP by saying people are trying to win elections in the name of god.
The Insides Speak.