New Delhi: Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra being detained in the wee hours of October 4 and finally arrested on Tuesday could be a defining moment of Indian politics, claim Congress leaders as the coincidence is that Indira Gandhi too was arrested on October 4 in 1977.
Comparisons are on social media whether this arrest could change the Congress fortunes as after Indira Gandhi’s arrest and later in the election in 1980 the Congress returned with a thumping majority.
From her detention, Priyanka said, “Modiji, Namaskar… Maine suna hai ki azadi ka amrit mahotsav manane aap Lucknow aa rahe hain, mein aap se pooch na chahti hun ki aapne ye video dekha hai, aapki sarkar ke ek mantri ke bete ne kisano ko kuchal diya, is video ko dekhiye aur desh ko bataiye ke is mantri ko barkhast kyun nahi kiya gya aur is ladke ko giraftar kyun nahi kia gya. (I have heard that you are coming to Lucknow to celebrate ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’. I want to ask you that have you seen the video. The son of one of your cabinet ministers has crushed the farmers. Watch this video and tell the country why hasn’t the minister been dismissed and why hasn’t this boy been arrested).”
Indira Gandhi was going to meet victims of Belchi and Priyanka Gandhi was also trying to meet the families of the victims of Lakhimpur Kheri but was not allowed.
Indira Gandhi was arrested along with four others, K.D. Malaviya, H.R. Gokhale, P.C. Sethi and D.P. Chattopadhyaya.
Indira Gandhi at that time had said that her arrest was political. “I have tried to serve our people and our country to the best of my ability. No matter what the charge or charges now made against me, this arrest is a political one. It is to prevent me from going to the people,” Indira Gandhi was quoted as saying.
At that time Indira Gandhi was an opposition leader and had lost the general election post the emergency but was not as weak as the Congress is now. The party has lost two consecutive general elections and the Gandhis are facing internal resistance from senior leaders.