Sam Pitroda bats for Rahul Gandhi as PM candidate, calls him a ‘good leader’

New Delhi: Indian Overseas Congress chief Sam Pitroda on Saturday said that he believes that party President Rahul Gandhi is capable of being a Prime Minister as he is the right man to lead the country.

On being asked whether there would be any consensus among ‘mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance) leaders for pitching Gandhi as the first choice for prime minister, Pitroda said, “…if we get to form the government, the party will decide who will be the candidate for the prime ministerial post. I, Sam Pitroda, personally would like Rahul Gandhi to be the Prime Minister because he is a young guy and is highly skilled, well-educated, his heart is in the right place and he has learned a lot in the last decade. You have seen a substantive change in Rahul Gandhi in the last two-three years. I think he will make a good leader and I am convinced.”

On being asked if Congress is going to pitch for Gandhi as Prime Minister if voted to power, he emphasised, “Sam Pitroda is going to pitch him (Rahul) as the Prime Minister.”

Calling himself a “small party man”, Pitroda, a confidant of the Gandhi scion, said he personally believes that India needs leaders who are in their 40s and 50s and not someone above 60 years of age.

“No, I am just a small party man but I genuinely believe that today India needs younger people. We have 650 million people below the age of 25 and I would like to see leaders who are in the 40s and 50s and not in 60s and 70s,” he said.

Before Pitroda, DMK president MK Stalin and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav had batted for Gandhi as a PM candidate.

Meanwhile, Pitroda slammed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for questioning Gandhi’s nationality.

“Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been a Member of Parliament (MP) for 15 years. You (those questioning his citizenship) sat with him in Parliament, 15 years you worked with him in Parliament, why did you wake up today with lies and you think people are stupid? Don’t underestimate the intelligence of Indian people, don’t play with their emotions. It’s not a good thing and they will show you in these elections. I am telling you, you can’t just cheat and lie all the time. If you had a question on Rahul Gandhi’s citizenship, you had 15 years to ask but you asked two weeks before elections. Rahul Gandhi is a proud Indian citizen,” Pitroda said.

The remark came after the Ministry of Home Affairs recently issued a notice to Gandhi regarding his citizenship after receiving a complaint from Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy, who alleged that a company named Backops Limited was registered in the United Kingdom in 2003 and that Gandhi was one of the directors of the company.

Swamy had also claimed that the Congress president had declared his nationality as British in a UK-based company.