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Rediff.com  » News » Rahul Gandhi meets editors over breakfast, discusses UP polls

Rahul Gandhi meets editors over breakfast, discusses UP polls

February 18, 2012 17:05 IST

Rahul Gandhi, the star campaigner of Congress Party who has raised his stakes quite high in the ongoing election in Uttar Pradesh, met some select editors over breakfast in New Delhi.

Incidentally, Outlook magazine's latest issue carries a cover story about Rahul Gandhi's gamble in UP titled, "What if he fails?"

In today's meeting, Rahul tried to answer, indirectly, this most-debated question in the country.

He said that the Congress had secured around 8 per cent of the total votes in the 2007 assembly elections in UP.

If this time he is able to double the vote-base of the Congress, then he would term the outcome of the election as a success.

He told the senior editors -- including Rajdeep Sardesai, Arnab Goswami and Barkha Dutt amongst others -- that in UP, only when a political party gets 20 per cent of the vote-base or more, it gets a large chunk of the seats.

He tried to convince the editors that he is looking forward to a 8-10 year time-frame, within which he will rebuild the party in UP.

The jury is out on whether this meeting was an effort towards damage control in case the Congress gets around 50/55 seats. The timely briefing to senior editors on the nuances of his political strategy in UP election will ensure that Gandhi is not ruthlessly bashed by the media when the election result unfolds on March 6.

Gandhi also spoke on the controversy brewing on the National Counter Terrorism Centre, the forthcoming Budget Session of Parliament and Maharashtra's civic elections.

He was also quizzed on speculations about him taking over as the prime minister.

Rahul also spoke about his mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, sister Priyanka, her husband Robert Vadra and their children --Raihan and Miraya -- joining the electoral campaign in UP.

Soon after the meeting, Rahul left to continue the election campaign in UP's Lalitpur, Kanpur Dehat and Etawah districts.

By a Rediff correspondent