Churu (Rajasthan), Oct 23 (IANS) "My grandmother was murdered. My father was murdered. Now I may also be killed one day. I don't care about it," said Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, making an emotional pitch for Rajasthan's ruling party at an election rally here.
Gandhi accused the BJP of sparking communal tensions in the country for political benefits, and equated the plight of Uttar Pradesh's riot-ravaged Muzaffarnagar district's people with himself.
He said that he can understand their sorrow and grief as his grandmother and father were also murdered.
Gandhi, 43, was referring to the communal riots that took place in Muzaffarnagar that claimed more than 40 lives and rendered thousands homeless.
"My grandmother was murdered. My father was murdered. Now I may also be killed one day. But I don't fear being murdered. I don't care about it...I see my face in the plight of Muzaffarnagar's people," Rahul Gandhi said while addressing the mammoth rally.
His grandmother, then prime minister Indira Gandhi, and his father, former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, were both assassinated. While Indira Gandhi was gunned down by her Sikh bodyguards in Delhi Oct 31, 1984, Rajiv was assassinated by a Tamil Tigers suicide bomber at a political rally in Tamil Nadu May 21, 1991.
Gandhi referred to his speech as "dil ki baat" (A talk from the heart) and said he wanted to share his story with the people.
"I was in classroom at my school when someone approached my teacher and whispered something in her ears. The teacher told me to go home immediately. I called up home from principal's office. I heard a scream from our housemaid. I was told something wrong had happened to my grandmother," recalled Gandhi.
Gandhi said he and his sister Priyanka were taken home, hidden under the passenger seats of a car by bodyguards.
"When I reached home, I saw blood of my grandmother on the road and the blood of two security guards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, in a room. They had always been like my friends. The incident filled me with a rage. It took me 10-15 years to calm down my anger," said Gandhi.
Gandhi added that recently a legislator from Punjab was sitting in his room.
"The legislator told me that had he met me 20 years ago, he would have murdered me. But now he wanted to hug me. The point I want to drive home is that nobody has in-built anger. Anger is instilled by political parties. It takes years to calm down the anger, but a minute to ignite it. That is why I am against BJP and its politics," said Gandhi.
He accused the BJP of causing bloodshed for political benefits.
"I am against the kind of politics BJP does as they spark fire of tension for political benefits... they hurt people for political gains."
"They will go to Muzaffarnagar and set fire in it. They will go to Gujarat and set fire in it. They will go to UP and Kashmir and will do the same. We have to run from pillar to post to douse the fire."
He said he wants "India to stay together, stand together".
"The BJP divides people, but I want the people of India to be united."
He said anger is not only generated by murder, but also by lack of basic amenities.
"Unemployment and hunger also create anger. We are working towards eradicating these things. That is why we brought in employment guarantee scheme and food security bill," said Gandhi.
He added that the Congress wants to develop an infrastructure to promote manufacturing.
The Gandhi scion said he wants the youth to have political rights in their pockets just like they have mobiles.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, AICC general secretary Gurudas Kamat and several other senior party leaders addressed the rally.
Discus thrower Krishna Poonia joined the party at the rally.
Voting for the assembly in the state is slated for Dec 1 and counting will be on Dec 8.