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Politics for some is about self-glorification: Rahul

Politics for some is about self-glorification: Rahul

New Delhi: Without taking any names, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that politics for some is about self-glorification and not a means for others' welfare.

"There are people for whom politics is all about themselves, their personal image and personal glorification," Rahul Gandhi said. "And then there are people for whom politics is about others and others' welfare. I think the late E. Ahamed Sahib belonged to the category of politicians for whom politics was all about others' good," he added.

He was speaking at an event held in remembrance of former Union Minister E. Ahamed who passed away a year ago after a massive heart attack in the Lok Sabha.

United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi was expected to attend the meeting but could not and sent a message instead that was read out by the organisers.

Rahul Gandhi recalled how he struck up a friendship with Ahamed, an Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader from Kerala who used to sit behind him in the lower House, despite their huge age difference. "I felt hurt when I saw at the hospital that his family was not being allowed to meet him during his last minutes. I thought it was unfair," the Congress chief recalled.

Ahamed, who collapsed inside the Lok Sabha during the President's address to the joint sitting of both Houses ahead of the Budget session last year, was rushed to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. The next day, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was scheduled to present the Budget. The doctors and hospital administration denied Ahamed's family access to him for hours and allegedly did not even update them about his condition. It was only after the intervention of former Congress President Sonia Gandhi and others that the family was allowed near him.

Speaking after Rahul Gandhi, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah said that if Rahul Gandhi formed the next government at the Centre, the government must investigate why and at whose behest Ahamed's family was meted out such treatment.

"India belongs to all of us. Kashmir is facing tragedies from that side (Pakistan) as well as from this side. Atal Bihari Vajpayee once said that with our neighbours either we can live with friendship and progress or live in animosity and lose. Today, we both (India and Pakistan) are losing," Abdullah said.

The meeting was attended by a number of opposition parliamentarians, especially those from Kerala, and other prominent persons, including Congress leaders A.K. Anthony, Shashi Tharoor and K. Rehman Khan, CPI-M's Mohammed Saleem, CPI leader D. Raja, Revolutionary Socialist Party MP N.K. Premachandran and former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, among others.

Several opposition leaders who spoke at the event, including Abdullah, Mohammed Saleem and D. Raja, stressed the need to counter the threat to Indian democracy by joining hands. "The question today is how to save the house, not how to decorate it. India cannot be democratic if it is not secular," Saleem said. Raja said that the Constitution was under attack and it was the duty of all to save it.

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