"I'm married to the Congress," quipped Rahul Gandhi, Congress party president, when asked whether he would remain single or get married soon.
The 48-year-old politician said his hug to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in parliament had been spontaneous and warm whereas what he got in return was a cold shoulder.
During an off-camera, on-record meet with editors of media houses in Hyderabad today, Rahul Gandhi asked for tea more than once and smilingly said, "the problem is with the chaiwala''.
The Congress president is in Hyderabad on a two-day tour when he is interacting with women self-help groups, students, farmers, businessmen and also had a public meeting in Serilingampally, on the outskirts of Hyderabad, on Monday evening.
Mr Gandhi was denied permission to interact with Osmania University students and permission was also not granted for a bike rally from the airport.
Asked if he was fighting to get the PM's chair in 2019, Rahul Gandhi said the Congress and other parties were on one side and the BJP on the other and it was an ideological battle. "We will decide who should lead after the elections,'' he said.
Rahul Gandhi spoke about alleged corruption in Rafale deal, farm loan waiver, GST and other issues which have been the focus of his speech in parliament and in public meetings.
"The problem is that the prime minister is a know-all... he does not listen to others. Whether it is a Raghuram Rajan on economics or an agriculture expert... I am not an expert. So I will ask and learn and understand and implement. Even BJP leaders tell me 'PM knows his mind'. That is a problem,'' he said.
Asked if he would not drive industry and investment away with his critical comments, Rahul Gandhi clarified that it is only crony capitalists that he is opposing.
"I am not criticising all industrialists... only crony capitalists who have a devious relationship with the political class,'' he said.
"Narendra Modi is fantasising that he will continue as PM. I will tell you why that will not happen. Modi will not be PM after 2019,'' said Rahul Gandhi, explaining that he does expect the NDA to get same number of seats in Bihar, UP, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
"BJP is going to face mahagatbandhan in UP, bihar and so will not get the seats they got earlier," he said.
On Monday, Rahul Gandhi had referred to Telangana as the corruption capital of the country and criticised Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao's family for allegedly controlling the state fully.
As a retort, KCR said Rahul Gandhi was reading from a paper he was given by state leaders and said he was speaking without maturity and that he must first look at his family before commenting on the TRS.
Reacting to that, Rahul Gandhi pointed out that members of his family have not been in government for 30 years. So the comparison does not work, he said.
Rahul Gandhi had compared NDA and TRS and said the style of functioning of both was the same... to make tall promises and not fulfill them. "Modi promised Rs 15 lakh in your bank account and KCR promised 2BHK to everyone. Both didn't happen,'' he said.
KCR had in a press conference in the evening announced that he intended to go for early elections and would finalise his party candidates in September. He said his party would not have any alliance and that he was still serious about a federal front as both the Congress and BJP have failed, KCR claimed, adding that he would meet Naveen Patnaik soon to take this forward.
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