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Mani Shankar Aiyar compares Rahul with Rajiv Gandhi, Obama

First published: January 20, 2013, 6:22 PM IST | Updated: January 20, 2013
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Mani Shankar Aiyar compares Rahul with Rajiv Gandhi, Obama
"It was a resurrection of Rajiv Gandhi, I heard his voice and tone," Aiyar said after Rahul's speech at Congress's Chintan Shivir.

New Delhi: Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Sunday compared Congress's newly appointed Vice President Rahul Gandhi to his father and former prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi. "It was a resurrection of Rajiv Gandhi, I heard his voice and tone," Aiyar said after Rahul made an emotional speech at Congress's Chintan Shivir in Jaipur.

Aiyar went on to quote resemblances between Rahul's speech and that of US President Barack Obama's famous "Yes we can" speech. "Rahul has prepared ground for change. It seems like Obama's voice. Yes we can is my answer to the question," Aiyar said.

During the speech, Rahul, who is the son of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, also cited his grandmother and former prime minister Indira Gandhi's assassination and said that India needs hope of a systemic change to move the country ahead. Praising the current government, Rahul said, "All the development in India has been possible because of Congress and the governments led by it."

"His speech was so similar to the expression of hope and presentation of a new India as I heard from Rajiv Gandhi in 1985 at Congress centenary. We know not all of that could be fulfilled but things have changed," Aiyar said.

In his first address after being appointed vice president of Congress, Rahul spoke of the anger of the youth saying they feel alienated from the political class and demanded a complete transformation of the system to give them a role in the political space. Addressing the All India Congress Committee (AICC) session, he made an emotional speech in which he said "I invite all of you to stand up and take on this fight," he said to a thunderous applause and a standing ovation from nearly thousand delegates that included his Sonia, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, union ministers and top party leaders.

Congress leaders and workers have been celebrating since Rahul's vice president announcement was made on Saturday night, with party members calling the move "historic" and "game changer".

"It will be unifying force for youngsters to work together, it will give us energy and power to work. We are thankful to Sonia Gandhi for accepting our demand. It's a path breaking step that will change the game now," Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot had said.

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