The issue of Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin cropped up yet again with Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sushma Swaraj saying on Thursday she was still opposed to the idea of her becoming the prime minister. She also appeared to be unapologetic about the vow she had taken in May 2004 to shave off her hair if Gandhi became the Prime Minister.
"I have always maintained that Sonia Gandhi came to our country as daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi and wife of Rajiv Gandhi and thus she is entitled to our love and affection. As the president of the Congress party she is entitled to our respect. But if she wants to become the prime minister then I say no," Swaraj said at a book launch in new Delhi.
She was responding to Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh's veiled attack on her as to why she had threatened to shave off her head when there was talk of Gandhi becoming the prime minister in 2004 after the defeat of National Democratic Alliance.
The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha noted that the country was under the foreign rule for over 150 years and many had sacrificed their lives for its freedom. "If after 60 years of Independence, if we coronate another foreigner for the top job then it would have meant that 100 crore people were incapable......It would be hurting the sensibility of people. This was my purpose of fighting the Bellary elections (1999) and it was a mission for me. In Bellary, I lost the battle, but won the war," she said.
Swaraj said that she spoke of shaving off her head in the line of the vow taken by Chanakya not to lock his hair and her determination to eat only roasted gram was taken from the vow taken by Maharana Pratap. She said she wanted to live like a monk to raise a campaign against any foreigner occupying a high place in the country.
Swaraj said it was good that Gandhi dropped the idea, heeding to her inner voice.