Sonia's Barb At Modi: India Is My Home, I'll Breathe My Last Here

10/05/2016 12:58 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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India’s opposition Congress party president Sonia Gandhi, centre, leads other Congress party lawmakers during a protest in the parliament premises, in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015. Tuesday’s protest followed after the speaker of India's Parliament on Monday barred 25 opposition legislators from its sessions for the rest of the week for causing "grave disorder" after they created noisy scenes. The opposition has been demanding that two leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party resign for allegedly helping a former Indian cricket official facing investigation for financial irregularities. (AP Photo/ Manish Swarup)

"It is here in my country, India, that the blood of my loved ones is mingled. It is here that I will breathe my last and it is here my ashes will mingle with those of my loved ones," Congress president Sonia Gandhi said on Monday, looking visibly emotional.

Gandhi, who was speaking at an election rally in Thiruvananthapuram for the upcoming assembly polls in Kerala, said that she has always been “shamed' by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other parties for her origins.

In an emotion-choked voice, Gandhi on Monday described herself as “the daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi” and reiterated that India was her country.

"Yes, I was born in Italy. But in 1968 I came to India as the daughter-in-law of (then prime minister) Indira Gandhi," Gandhi told the cheering crowd.

The speech was clearly a response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comments regarding her origins during his speeches and election meetings in Kerala.

According to The Indian Express, Modi had said on Sunday: “Do you have anyone you know in Italy? Do you have relatives in Italy? Have you been to Italy? Does anyone know you in Italy? Everyone knows who has an Italian connection.”

Gandhi responded to PM Modi's comments by saying that she was proud of her origins. "I wish to say I am very proud of my parents who have been always honest. Yes, I have relatives in Italy, I have a 93-year-old mother and two sisters," she said.

Winding up her 15-minute speech, Gandhi added that the attacks were less “political” and “more personal.”

In her speeches, Gandhi also urged the people in Kerala to vote for the Oommen Chandy government which she said had done “an excellent job” and needed a second term. The Left Democratic Front would only take Kerala back “through wrong policies,” she added.

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