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Faced backlash in democratising party’s youth wings: Rahul

IANS | Princeton |

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has hinted that he faced a backlash to his efforts to democratise the party’s youth organisations and said he has always been in favour of opening up systems.

Interacting with students at the Princeton University here on Tuesday, Gandhi said he had spent quite a bit of his time addressing the problem of access to information and making the system more transparent.

“There is access to information problem in India and that’s something I spent quite a lot of my time working on. Internally in the party, particularly in the youth organisations, democratising, holding elections…But you get a backlash because it disturbs people. People do not like transparency,” he said.

“It is disruptive, transparency is not easy but it is powerful,” he added.

During his tenure as general secretary in charge of the party’s frontal organisations, Gandhi had sought to democratise the Youth Congress by holding elections to choose office bearers, ending the earlier system of appointment by nominations.

Gandhi has also been keen to foster internal democracy in the party at various levels.

During the interaction, the Congress leader also pitched for making the working of parliamentary standing committees more open.

“Nobody knows what happens inside the committee system. I sit on a couple of committees and it has 20 people and nobody sees it. So bringing in other people, making it accessible to people to see what’s going on in the law making process, to make this law making process transparent, that is a powerful thing,” he said.

Gandhi said decentralisation of power with expansion of telecom and computers had helped transform India.

“Decentralisation is always good in India, opening up, giving access to people is always good,” he said.