I too may be killed but I don't care: Rahul Gandhi

Churu/Alwar (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 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 over 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 in this Rajasthan town, 200 km from capital Jaipur.

His grandmother, then prime minister Indira Gandhi, and his father, former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, were both assassinated. Indira Gandhi was gunned down by her Sikh bodyguards in Delhi Oct 31, 1984, while Rajiv Gandhi 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 straight from the heart) and said he wanted to share his story with the people.

"I was in a 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 has happened to my grandmother," recalled Gandhi.

He 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.

Stating that his mother Sonia Gandhi asked him to narrate his own stories, rather than hers, Rahul Gandhi recalled how his grandmother Indira Gandhi would save him from a disciplinarian father that Rajiv Gandhi was.

"My father would put spinach on my plate which I did not like. Under the cover of a newspaper my grandmother would remove the dish," he said.

He also recounted how no one would visit Indira Gandhi, except for Sikhs, after she lost the polls in 1977.

"But anger brewed against her in a few years," said Rahul who recounted how she was killed by her two Sikh bodyguards in 1984.

Anger is seeded in people, he added.

Gandhi said 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."

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 party rallies.

In Alwar, there was a moment of embarrassment for the Congress managers when a group of youngsters in the crowd raised slogans in favour of the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

"Desh bacahao, Modi lao (save India, bring Modi)," read a placard praising the Gujarat chief minister.

Voting for the assembly in the state is slated for Dec 1 and ballot count will be taken Dec 8.


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