“I Still Don’t Have A House”: Rahul Gandhi On Leading Bharat Jodo Yatra
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said he has never owned a house and noted that this experience had helped him “change” his Bharat Jodo Yatra and connect with the people.
Addressing the Congress plenary session in Nava Raipur in Chhattisgarh, Gandhi said he wanted everyone who joined the Yatra to feel that they were coming home.
He recalled the incident in 1977 when his family was preparing to leave their government accommodation.
“There was a strange atmosphere in the house. I went to mummy and asked her what happened. Ma told me that we are leaving the house.
“Till that time I used to think it was our house. So I asked my mother why we are leaving our house. Then my mom told me for the first time that it was not our house, but the government’s and we have to leave it now,” the Congress leader said.
Rahul Gandhi said he asked his mother Sonia Gandhi where they would go next. “‘Nahi maloom’ (don’t know) my mother said. I was taken aback. I used to think it was our house.
“52 years and I still don’t have a house. Our family house is in Allahabad and that is also not ours. I live at 12, Tughaq Lane but that is not my house,” he said.
Gandhi then spoke about his Yatra that was launched on September 7 last year in Kanyakumari, traversing 12 states and two Union Territories, and concluded in Kashmir in January-end .
“When I moved from Kanyakumari, I asked myself what is my responsibility… I came up with an idea… I told my people this 20-25 ft area around me is going to be my house for the next four months. This house will move with me.
“Whoever comes here- be it rich or poor, elderly or young, from whichever religion or state or from abroad or even an animal…. they should feel like they have come home..and while leaving, they should feel they are leaving their home… The day I did it, the Yatra changed,” Gandhi said.
The BJP, however, took a swipe at Gandhi, saying his remarks show the “sense of entitlement” in the Gandhi family as it enjoys “responsibility without power”.
“Rahul ji used to think that all the houses and cars he was using belonged to him. If you feel that the government’s house is your house, who can evict us – this is called the sense of entitlement,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra told reporters.
He said Gandhi undertook his Yatra only now, but BJP’s two prime ministers spent their life crisscrossing the country and learning about it as ‘pracharaks’.
“After 52 years of age, he is thinking what should be his responsibility… after giving up the Congress presidentship… Your motto and that of the Gandhi family is one – power without responsibility,” Patra said.
He said Mallikarjun Kharge is the Congress president, but the whole party plenary is focused on the members of the Gandhi family.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)