The Congress has been a junior partner in an alliance led by either the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam because it was not strong in Tamil Nadu, said the general secretary of the All India Congress Committee, Rahul Gandhi, on Wednesday.

Interacting with Youth Congress functionaries at the Gandhi Museum here, Mr. Gandhi exhorted the volunteers to win in the next panchayat elections.

“You win [a] majority and see what happens” was his reply to a query from a functionary on why the Congress was always fighting elections under one of the two main Dravidian parties and why it should not be a major partner.

Mr. Gandhi said that at present it was not in a position to play that role “because you are not strong.”

Earlier, in his address, Mr. Gandhi asked the party workers to forget what had happened in the last 40 years when either of the two Dravidian parties ruled the State. But the Congress would regain power in future. For that to happen, the party should be strengthened at the grassroots level.

While admitting that returning to power would not be easy, the Congress leader also reminded the gathering that there would be no shortcuts.

He asked the Youth Congress volunteers to become close to the people and work for them in order to strengthen the party at the grassroots. “Strengthen the party at the panchayat and ward level and leave the rest to us,” he said.

When a volunteer wanted him to be the ‘Kamaraj' in the ‘Kamaraj rule' for Tamil Nadu, Mr. Gandhi quipped: “First I should learn Tamil.”

The Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president, K. V. Thangkabalu, also addressed the meeting. Mr. Gandhi garlanded the statue of Mahatma Gandhi on the museum premises.

Keywords: Rahul Gandhi

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