As his party grapples with the issue of succession in Andhra Pradesh, the Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said late Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy's son Jaganmohan has had "significant achievements".

"He (Jaganmohan) is not only the son of a politican but also has significant achievements," he said but did not elaborate.

Mr. Gandhi was asked about the "clamour" among supporters of Jaganmohan Reddy for appointment of Y S Jaganmohan Reddy as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.

Rajinikanth most welcome to join Cong

Mr. Rahul Gandhi also said that the Tamil superstar Rajinikanth was welcome to join the party.

"He is most welcome to come. We don't put any roadblocks," Mr. Gandhi told reporters here.

The Congress had an 'open system'. "The party was ready to welcome anyone so long as that person is not a criminal," he said.

"Our system is open to anybody who wants to enter it. The only barrier we put is the barrier of criminality," the Congress leader, whose visit to Tamil Nadu is seen as an effort to rejuvenate the party apparatus in the state and woo the youth, said.

"However, we are not reaching out to any particular person."

Rajinikanth has not revealed his mind on his political inclinations but his fans want him to float a party. Though he has kept off politics, he has had meetings with top national leaders, including BJP leader L K Advani who called on the actor early this year, sparking speculations.

On reports about popular Tamil actor Vijay evincing interest in joining Congress, Mr. Gandhi reacted, "when we started this open system process, Vijay expressed interest in understanding our process and we explained our process to him".

Not in favour of interlinking of rivers

He said he was against the idea of interlinking of rivers as it would have "severe" environmental implications.

"It is a disastrous idea. It is an idea that will be extremely dangerous to the environment of the country," he told reporters here.

"I personally won't support this idea. I am of the view that nature is very, very powerful and I think it is not a good idea to play with the nature on a massive scale".

When it was pointed out that the political leaders in Tamil Nadu were supporting river linking projects, he said, they were supporting such projects at the state level.

Interlinking of rivers at the national level to combat water scarcity was mooted by many leaders and the idea was endorsed by former President A P J Abdul Kalam.

To a question on inter-state water disputes, especially between Tamil Nadu and its neighbouring states, Mr. Gandhi said, the states concerned should mutually sort out the issue.

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