Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said that the killing of his father former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi brought him pain but he has no anger towards the people responsible, reported the Hindustan Times.
“I don’t have anger towards anybody,” the Congress leader said at an event at the Bharathidasan College for Women in Puducherry. “Of course, I lost my father and for me it was a difficult time. It’s like someone has cut your heart out. I felt tremendous pain. But I don’t feel angry. I don’t feel any hatred. I forgive.”
Gandhi said that a lot of things that he has said on the day comes from his father, who talks through him. “I still carry my father with me,” the Congress leader added. “Understand something – violence cannot take away anything from you. It doesn’t have that power. You can give up something but violence cannot take anything from you.”
Rajiv Gandhi was killed in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu’s Kanchipuram district on May 21, 1991, when an operative of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam named Gayatri set off an RDX-laden belt she wore. The LTTE was seeking revenge for the Indian government’s decision to send troops to Sri Lanka to help the island-country fight the Tamil separatists.
Many political parties have supported the release of seven convicts – Nalini, Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Ravichandran and Robert Pyas. However, the Tamil Nadu unit of the Congress has opposed it.
Gandhi also said that by silencing people, the country’s character was being destroyed, reported NDTV. He was apparently referring to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. “If you’re shutting up the nation, frightening people and not allowing them to talk, you’re destroying the nation’s character and destiny,” he said. “No youngster should allow anybody to frighten them into silence. This is their power.”
The Congress leader criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of not letting the Puducherry government to function, reported PTI. “PM Modi has taken your dreams, aspirations and worked against them by destroying the institution of the lieutenant governor, just like he destroys all other institutions,” he alleged.
He was referring to the Centre’s decision to remove Kiran Bedi as the lieutenant governor of Puducherry. Chief Minister V Narayanasamy had been demanding Bedi’s removal, saying that she was not allowing the elected government to function by interfering in the day-to-day administration.
Gandhi is in the Union Territory after the Congress was thrown into a crisis as four party MLAs resigned. The latest resignation of A John Kumar came on Tuesday.
MLA Malladi Krishna Rao had tendered his resignation on Monday. The two other legislators, A Namassivayam and E Theeppainjan, had resigned in January. Both of them have joined the BJP. Another MLA N Dhanavelou was disqualified last year.
The resignations have reduced the Congress’ strength in the Assembly to 10. Its alliance partner, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, has 3 MLAs. The Congress also has support from one Independent candidate. The Opposition, which has a strength of 14 in the 28-member Assembly, is demanding a floor test.
Narayanasamy, however, has dismissed any crisis. “Our government is not in the minority,” he told NDTV on Tuesday. The chief minister also accused the BJP of poaching MLAs and repeating its tactics in trying to “topple democratically-elected governments”.