'My Father Inherited Martyrdom, Not Wealth': Priyanka Gandhi Responds To PM

“This is a feeling that Modi-ji would never understand,” Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said.

Congress’s Priyanka Gandhi Vadra today said her father, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, had not inherited wealth but martyrdom from his mother. “This is a feeling that Narendra Modi would never understand,” she said, shredding the Prime Minister’s comments on dynastic politics and inheritance tax.

PM Modi had said last week that Rajiv Gandhi had abolished inheritance tax after coming to power so that the wealth he had inherited from his mother would not be taxed.

Today, speaking at a rally in Morena, Madhya Pradesh, Ms Gandhi Vadra said, “When Modi-ji stands on the dais and calls my father a traitor, when he says he changed a law to take his inheritance from his mother… he would not understand that my father did not get any wealth by way inheritance, he only got the thoughts of martyrdom”.

“At the age of 19, when I brought home the mangled remains of my father, I was upset with this country. I thought, ‘I had sent my father. It was your job to ensure his safety. I placed him in your care, but you returned me his remains wrapped in the national flag’. I had misgivings. I know what is the meaning of martyrdom. Today I am 52 and this is the first time I’m talking about it in public,” she said.

She said when 40 soldiers died in Pulwama in 2019, she had visited some of their families in Uttar Pradesh. There, the children of the martyrs told her that they want to join the army. “There was one girl whose brother was in the Air force. She said ‘Didi I want to join the air force and become a pilot’,” Ms Gandhi Vadra said.

“This is the feeling of martyrdom. Modi-ji will never understand this. Modi-ji says whatever he likes about a martyr like Indira-ji. He only sees dynastic politics, he never sees patriotism, service to the nation. He would never understand this,” she added.

At a rally in Morena last week, PM Modi had said that earlier, half of a deceased person’s wealth went to the government by law. “There was talk then that Indira-ji had willed her wealth in her son Rajiv Gandhi’s name. To save the money going to the government (after her death), then PM Rajiv Gandhi abolished the inheritance tax,” he said, ripping into the Congress over wealth redistribution and inheritance tax.

After benefitting from the abolition of estate duty, the Congress now wants to bring back the levy, he said.