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At Princeton, Rahul Gandhi promises to bring back focus on jobs; admits Congress too failed at it

He said that though his party had disagreements with the Narendra Modi government, he agreed with them on the issues of ‘Make in India’ and GST
Edited by: India TV Politics Desk Priceton September 20, 2017 10:42 IST
India TV Politics Desk

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that notwithstanding the path chosen by them, the performance of India and China, would determine how the world would fundamentally be reshaped.

Gandhi, who was interacting with students at the Princeton University noted that there was "a lot of synergy" between India and the United States.

"There are two large migrations taking place -- one is completely free and the other is centrally controlled. The systems respond differently. India and China are two huge countries that are transforming from agricultural countries to urban modern model countries.

And that's a huge chunk of the world population," Gandhi said in his interaction at the Princeton University.

"And how these two countries do is going to fundamentally reshape the world. It's not my place to say that China should be democratic or not. They have chosen their path and we have chosen ours," he said.

But there is "cooperation and there is competition" between the two most populous countries of the world. "We have to figure out how to get our jobs. We have to basically compete with China," said adding that frankly India is not doing that well.

China, he said, is entering spaces with One Belt, One Road (OBOR) venture. "And China has a particular vision of the world. It's very clear. And from their perspective it's a very powerful vision," he said.

Gandhi also raised a series of questions for India that he sought to be answered.

"Does India have a similar vision? What does that vision look like? How much cooperation is going to be between us and them? These are basically the fundamental questions going forward. But the thing to realise is that China is moving with tremendous power and we have to work with that," he said.

Gandhi said there's a lot of space for cooperation between the United States and India in the creation of jobs and in the education sector.

"So I think a lot of synergy between the two countries. Also historically India has maintained balance (in relationship). So India has had a relationship with China and has had a relationship with Russia. It has had a relationship with the US and both the countries. To me the strategic relationship with the United States is important," he said.

The scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family underscored the need for a balance (of relationship) in terms of all the other countries.

"But balance is also important in terms of all the other countries. So I would say there is a a slight difference between us and the government," Gandhi said in response to a question.

Rahul Gandhi backs GST, ‘Make In India’, but targets Modi govt over job creation

Addressing the meeting, Rahul talked about his dream to decentralise power in India in all spheres. 

Meanwhile, he said that though his party had disagreements with the Narendra Modi government, he agreed with them on the issues of ‘Make in India’ and GST. 

“In 1947 we took a huge step, we started a process of transforming India. It started before that, when Mahatma Gandhi came. Then 1992 was an important point, we took some decisions to open up the economy,” he said. 

Questioned about the issues plaguing India, the Congress vice president said that not enough is being spent on education and healthcare, adding that jobs are the biggest challenge. “30,000 youngsters coming into the market daily. 400 jobs being made,” he said. 

“I like the 'Make in India' concept but they are not targeting whom they should. PM feels large businesses should be targeted. I feel medium and small companies should be targeted,” he added.

He, however, admitted that the Congress government had also failed to address the issue. 

“We were in power for 10 years. We had a vision that began in 2004. By 2012 we felt that vision had run into trouble. We are going to build on that vision. We are going to focus on jobs, education and health care,” said Rahul.