Bharatiya Janata Party MP Varun Gandhi said on Saturday that his surname helped him become a two-time MP at a young age, PTI reported. He also said that those without “influential” fathers and grandfathers find it difficult to make a mark in politics.

“Today, I have come to you and you all are listening to me,” Gandhi said at a seminar in Hyderabad. “But the fact is if there was no Gandhi in my name, probably I would not have become a two-time MP at a young age and you would not have come here to listen to me.”

“The fact is that a young person from a humble background, even if he has the talent and leadership qualities, cannot come into politics unless his father or godfather is someone worthy,” he said. Gandhi added that 14 lakh people had to go to jail in the last 15 years for defaulting on payments of Rs 25,000, but the rich “are conducting lavish marriages for their daughters”.

He claimed that 60% of the nation’s wealth was controlled by 1% of the population. “There is still a lot of inequality among people,” Gandhi said.

Gandhi also said that changes need to be made in the parliamentary system so the voices of people could be heard, the Deccan Chronicle reported. “If 60,000 people sign a petition in England, the lawmakers take note of it and respond. If one lakh people sign a petition, Parliament debates the issue for two hours,” he said.

Indian cricketer Mithali Raj also spoke at the seminar.