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It Is Possible For Congress To Win Majority In Parliament Again, Says Sonia Gandhi

But refuses to talk politics.

22/11/2016 4:24 PM IST | Updated 22/11/2016 5:04 PM IST
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India's opposition Congress president Sonia Gandhi addresses a farmers rally in New Delhi, India, Sunday, April 19, 2015. Tens of thousands of flag-waving farmers rallied in India's capital on Sunday to protest the government's plan to ease rules for obtaining land for industry and development projects.(AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Congress President Sonia Gandhi said in an interview recently that it was possible for the party, which currently has only 44 seats in the Lok Sabha, to regain majority.

In an exclusive interview with Rajdeep Sardesai of India Today Gandhi said, "I think it is absolutely possible. Not only is it possible but we will come up from 44 seats to the seats needed to have full strength in Parliament."

"In politics you win and you lose. You come up in power, you go down, it's part of life," she added.

Gandhi also dismissed any comparison or similarity between Indira Gandhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "It doesn't trouble me because I don't believe in it at all," she said. "I have my own clear view, there is no comparison."

Asked if Rahul Gandhi will take Indira Gandhi's legacy forward, Sonia Gandhi declined to answer. However, she did say that her daughter Priyanka and son Rahul were influenced by their grandmother Indira Gandhi in different ways.

"My mother-in-law and in their case, they are inspired by their grandmother in different ways, right. I have been influenced in my own ways in a particular way, Priyanka in another way, Rahul in another way," Gandhi said, adding that, "We all are influenced in different ways."

Speaking about the Emergency that Indira Gandhi had imposed on the country, and how Indira would have viewed the move were she alive today, Sonia said, "I cannot say exactly, how she would see the Emergency today but I can say that if she had not felt extremely uncomfortable with it at some stage, she would not have called for an election."

Asked if she took inspiration from her mother-in-law, Gandhi replied, "Maybe subconsciously I did." She said that while she never consciously studied Indira Gandhi she was definitely influenced by her. "I guess like one imbibes [from] any other family member."

Gandhi said that she first met her mother-in-law in London. Recalling the day when Indira Gandhi was assassinated, Sonia said, "Yes, that was a terrible day, I was in my room which was right next to hers. She was preparing to offer an interview and I heard some noises. Diwali had just been and sometime Diwali carries on few days later and I heard these noises. I thought there may be Diwali patakhas, but something was different. I sent one lady who worked for me out to see what it is. She came back crying and... of course, a news that something... we were expecting it, my mother-in-law knew, she had spoken to us about it. She had given instructions, she had spoken to Rahul, in particular. I ran out and I saw her ... well ... body with bullets and we took her to the hospital... which was a terrible sort of .... there was no ambulance, nothing. So, she was placed in the ambassador in the back seat and I was sitting with her in my arms and there was lot of traffic. Anyway, slowly we reached the hospital."

She said that the assassination was a terrible blow for the entire family.

Speaking of Indira Gandhi's biggest contribution to India, she said, "Her greatest contribution is her loyalty and devotion for people of India... because from that flow everything else."

"She identified with them, there was something about her...her deep compassion which made people talk about her," she added.

Read the entire interview here.

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