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Till my last breath, I will be in India: Sonia hits back at Modi

Congress president Sonia Gandhi began her poll campaign in Kerala on Monday, hitting out at both BJP and Left parties. She said the BJP can’t open its account in the state and the Left was yet learn a lesson from its mistakes.

assembly elections Updated: May 09, 2016 22:14 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times
Sonia Gandhi,Kerala assembly elections,Kerala polls
Congress president Sonia Gandhi waves during an election rally for upcoming assembly polls in Thrissur.(PTI File Photo)

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday said she is an Indian and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “underhand tricks” by linking her Italian origin to the controversial AgustaWestland chopper deal.

“I came here in 1968 as daughter-in law of late Indira Gandhi. I lived my whole life as an Indian. Till my last breath I will be here and my ashes will mingle with this land,” she said in Thiruvananthapuram, accusing the RSS-BJP of hounding her for 48 years about her birth in Italy. On the verge of tears she started saying she has to say something personal than political.

“I know PM Modi is unable to understand my feelings. I don’t know why he’s resorting to underhand tricks. But I am sure people of this country will understand me,” she said at an election rally, adding her 93-year-old mother and two sisters still live in Italy. Sonia, however, did not say anything on the copter deal that has crippled proceedings of the ongoing Parliament session.

Read | Everyone knows who has relatives in Italy: Modi targets Sonia on Agusta

The Congress chief began her address by paying tributes to the Puttingal temple tragedy victims and the law student who was brutally murdered in Kochi ten days ago. She said killers of the Dalit girl who was raped in Kerala will be nabbed soon. The BJP had earlier attacked the Congress chief and Rahul Gandhi for ignoring the brutal death of the student.

Coming down heavily on BJP, Gandhi said the party’s dream of opening an account will remain a mirage. “The party can’t open an account in the state. It can’t breach the strong secular fabric of the state,” she said. She said the BJP never believed in democratic values and has destabilised two governments -- in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

She said the Prime Minister, who was roaming around the world, has no time for dying farmers. She criticised Modi for neglecting the plight of rubber and coconut farmers of Kerala. “I am sure people of Kerala will stand united to foil the party’s design to establish its base in the state,” she said.

She also criticised the Left parties for practising a politici of negativism and annihilation. “Despite many bitter experiences, the Left is still turning its back on development. It always pursued a negative economic agenda,” she said.

“The Left always adopted an anti-development policy. If it comes to power, the state will go backward. Leave alone development, it has got an ambiguous stand on liquor policy,” she said, lauding the Chandy government’s policy that she claimed has been made a model by many states.

Read | AgustaWestland row: Cong slams PM Modi’s remark about Sonia Gandhi

First Published: May 09, 2016 21:06 IST