Aligarh : Religion does not matter when it comes to becoming the prime minister and a Muslim can get the top job provided he is the most capable person for it, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in Aligarh on Monday.
"It is not about what religion or community you come from, it is what you bring to the table, what capability you have," he said in an interaction with students of the Aligarh Muslim University.
He was replying to a question that having come a long way after Independence how much more time will it take for India to have its first Muslim prime minister.
"Today, Manmohan Singh is not the Prime Minister of India because he is a Sikh. He is the Prime Minister because he is the most capable person to do the job.
"And let me tell you something that even when you do have a Muslim prime minister, he will be a prime minister because he is the most capable person," 39-year-old Gandhi said.
He told a questioner, "You need to step up and the number of leaders coming out of your community needs to go up. You got today a Sikh prime minister that nobody would have ever imagined in a country of over a billion people that we would have a Sikh prime minister. Sikhs are a very small percentage of this country."
Gandhi said his effort was to involve people from different communities and from different parts of India in the political system.
Exhorting Muslim youths to participate in national politics in a big way, Gandhi said, "Increased participation of Muslim youths is the ideal way to take on problems not only of the Muslim community but the country as a whole."
He said it was unfortunate that today there was hardly any young Muslim leader active in national politics.
Earlier, Gandhi was given a rousing reception on his arrival at the AMU campus. He first drove to the grave of AMU founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan to pay tributes.