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Sonia Says No Comparison Between Modi and Indira Gandhi

ASonia Gandhi Sonia Says no comparison between Modi and Indira Gandhi, confident of Congress returning to Power
Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday said there was no comparison between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and late Indira Gandhi and rejected suggestions that the party did not have leaders to take him on. She also made it clear that she was not ‘troubled’ by comparisons between Modi and Indira Gandhi and that her party was taking on the Modi government.

“Every era in politics or history has its own problems, its own leaders and its own opposition. I think the Congress party is taking on the present dispensation,” Sonia Gandhi told Rajdeep Sardesai of India Today TV.
She was replying to a question whether her party needed to be competitive unlike the 60s and 70s when it was dominant and that it did not have a leader to take on Modi.
Asked whether she was troubled by the fact that Modi was being compared with the late Prime Minister as a strong personality, Gandhi said, “It does not trouble me because I do not believe in it. I have my own clear views about it. There is no comparison. Absolutely not.”
To another question that her party did not have a tough and competitive leader like Modi, she said, “I do not agree with that.”
She recalled that Indira Gandhi was ridiculed, insulted and made fun of from within even more than outside when she entered politics, became a Congress president and later Prime Minister.
There was nothing that she did was right. She was able to “overcome” that, Gandhi said.
Talking about her decision to join politics, she said: “I thought on my side it was a bit of coward to not join. At that time there was nothing else on mind but to uphold the ideals of not just my mother-in-law, my husband and the party,” she said when asked about her stint in politics.
The Congress president spoke extensively about her political career, family and the influence of Indira Gandhi. When asked about the Gandhi dynasty, Sonia said that just like doctors and professors have predecessors from their family, her family too followed the path of the head of the family.
“Just like in a family of doctors , professor business one or another will choose the path of the father . There is a difference in politics as in politics you are elected and defeated democratically,” said Sonia.
“I cannot say how she [Indira Gandhi] would see Emergency today, but if she had not felt extremely uncomfortable she would not have called for elections. There were instances when Rajivji was a pilot and on occasions he would meet people who would say this is happening and he would tell his mother. I could see that she heard him and would see her respond,” said Sonia.
On being asked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi being compared to Indira Gandhi who was reckoned to be a tough leader, Sonia said that such comparisons did not affect her and that her views are clear. “It does not trouble me, I have my very clear views, there is no comparison,” she said.
Sonia said that Indira grew up during the freedom movement. Indira pioneered the Vanar Sena, a group of children who used to work towards spreading awareness on various issues. In fact, she was jailed as well for a short time.
“Her greatest contribution was her loyalty and dedication to the country. She identified with the people, she was deeply compassionate. She had in her deep compassion and empathy for people who were in need of help. She never felt she was a woman amongst all the men, she always felt she was an equal,” said Sonia.

“I came from a completely different culture and background, when it was decided, Rajivji before returning to India met my father and asked if he agreed to the proposal. He was impressed by Rajivji but was worried about me. Then I was given a return ticket to stay in India for two weeks. Eventually my mother-in-law asked me if both of us decided to stay together, and then marry,” said Sonia.
The Congress president said that Indira was completely different from what she looked like. The late prime minister understood her difficulties with the culture, language since she did not know English.
“She had a cute sense of humor and was a wonderful writer . She used to write letters and little notes for me and other members of the family. She was interested in everything and everybody. She had interests in music, classical and folk art, environment. We still miss her,” said Sonia.
Sonia said that Indira never made her feel like an outsider and that she was a very intelligent woman who allowed her space and time to get used to the new life.

When asked about the future course of her party, Sonia was hopeful for Congress to get full majority in Parliament in the next elections. She said that in politics one either loses or wins.
When asked about Rahul Gandhi’s role and if he will take up leadership, she said that she was not the right person to reply on it.
Upon being asked about the struggles of the Congress party, Sonia said, “We will keep fighting. Indira Gandhi was written off, she fought back, we will fight too.”
Sonia, who reserved her comments on Rahul and Priyanka, said that both her children had different aspects of Indira Gandhi in them.
“Priyanka and Rahul have different aspects of Indira in them. I will speak in detail when I write a book, If at all I write,” she said.

PTI and India Today

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