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My girlfriend is Spanish: Rahul Gandhi

Vrinda Gopinath

Posted: Apr 28, 2004 at 1151 hrs IST

Rahul Gandhi may have just got himself a new job. The fifth-generation heir of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty is all set to become a parliamentarian from Amethi and the excitement and anxiety is palpable.

Campaigning is over, the day of reckoning has come. However, Rahul would like the world to believe he is only serving his dharma. "I don’t care if I win or lose this election," he says, sitting in his garden, as rain clouds gather over Amethi.

"I am here as a sensible, responsible Indian, because I want to help people get on track, from being distracted by dangerous issues like religious and caste hatred."

But is he surprised at the Rahul effect.

"Obviously something is very wrong if a 33-year-old can just pop up and get this kind of attention. If the BJP had done well, I would not have got this response."

While Rahul launches into a soliloquy on trade and economics (like "wherever we’ve succeeded is despite the Government"), guess which industry Rahul is looking to revive? Following in the footprints of his father and uncle, it is none other than the automobile industry. "It is where a lot of jobs lie," he says.

He says he has learnt his lessons of humility from the working class ethics of England. "I could have joined politics soon after my father died," explains Rahul, "but I was just 19 and had nothing to offer. I made a commitment to myself, I will do it one day. After studies in the US, I risked my life to do away with my guards to lead a regular life in England...I worked for five years. I’m glad I did it."

Now that he has rejected the regular job, regular life, what happens to his regular gal? "My girlfriend’s name is Veronique not Juanita," laughs Rahul, "She is Spanish and not Venezuelan or Colombian. She is an architect not a waitress, though I wouldn’t have had a problem with that. She is also my best friend." He met her in his university in England.

Has he already proposed to her? "Hmm", he answers with a huge smile, "I am not sure when I will be settling down." Would he not be breaking many hearts here? "I hope not a lot of hearts," he grins, "You cannot make everyone happy."

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