Modi Will not Understand that My Father didn’t Inherit Wealth but Martyrdom: Priyanka


Clarion India

MORENA – In an emotional speech where she talked about bringing pieces of her father’s body home, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying Rajiv Gandhi inherited “martyrdom” from his mother and not wealth, reported PTI.

“Modi ji will not understand that my father did not inherit wealth, he inherited martyrdom from his mother,” she said, targeting the prime minister over his relentless attack on the Congress on the party’s “wealth redistribution” promise in its manifesto.

Rajiv Gandhi’s mother and former prime minister Indira Gandhi was killed by her two Sikh bodyguards at her Delhi home on October 31, 1984.

“When Modiji utters nonsense about a woman like Indiraji, when Modiji, after seeing this feeling of patriotism, only sees dynastic politics, he cannot understand this sacrifice,” Priyanka said in a voice choked with emotion. She was addressing an election rally in Morena in Madhya Pradesh.

Modi had at a rally in Morena last week alleged that Rajiv Gandhi abolished inheritance tax after coming to power so that the wealth he had inherited from his mother would not be taxed. He had said that earlier half of a deceased person’s wealth went to the government by law.

“There was talk then that Indiraji had willed her wealth in her son Rajiv Gandhi’s name. To save the money going to the government (after her death), then PM Rajiv Gandhi abolished the inheritance tax,” the prime minister said.

Congress had stoutly refuted Modi’s claim.

“But now I understand that this kind of anger is for someone you love dearly. The love I have for this country, how can I explain when Modiji calls my father traitor. When Modiji says my father changed the law to get inheritance from his mother,” Priyanka said.

Priyanka also touched upon the barrage of attacks faced by the Gandhi family from BJP leaders.

“I want to say that whether you call us traitors, whether you kick us out of our homes, tie us up in legal cases… Do what you want. Kill us. But the feeling of patriotism, nobody can remove from our hearts.”

The Congress leader also recalled the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991.

“I was 19 when I brought the pieces of my father home I was angry at my country. I was angry because I had sent my father away and it was your duty to keep him safe, and you sent him back to me in pieces.

“And these pieces were bundled in the national flag. I understand the meaning of martyrdom. Today I am 52 and this is the first time I am speaking about this from a public platform,” Priyanka said.

Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a female suicide bomber at a poll rally in Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991.

Priyanka also recalled her meeting with the family members of the victims of the Pulwama terror attack to highlight the feelings of sacrifice.

“Many of Pulwama’s martyrs were from UP. I went to their homes and met their families and kids. The kids said they also want to join the army. One girl whose father was a pilot said she wants to join the air force and become a pilot. Modiji will not understand this feeling of sacrifice,” she said.

On February 14, 2019, a terror attack was carried out in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir by a suicide bomber resulting in the death of 40 CRPF personnel.

On other issues, Priyanka dared Modi to construct shelters for stray cattle in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

“PM Narendra Modi has said today, beware, if you have two buffaloes, the Congress will steal one of them,” she said, referring to Modi’s pitch that the opposition party was planning to reintroduce inheritance tax and take away people’s property.

“I throw a challenge to Modiji; collect stray cattle in UP and MP, and put them in `gaushala’ (cow shelters),” the Congress leader said.

“Solve the problem of stray cattle. Build cowsheds, strengthen them, like the previous Congress government in Chhattisgarh did.” The gaushalas in Chhattisgarh provided women with income, and the government also bought cow dung from them, Priyanka said.

Unemployment rate in the country was at a 45-year high and government recruitment examinations were being hit by paper leaks while the Modi government was also closing available employment avenues, the Congress leader claimed. Loans of Rs 16 lakh crore of 20 to 22 businessmen have been waived by the Modi government, she alleged.

“Under the Modi government, the poor have become poorer in the last ten years,” Priyanka claimed.

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