Indira, Rajiv assassinations not martyrdom but 'accidents': Uttarakhand minister

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Dehradun, Jan 31 (PTI) Uttarakhand minister Ganesh Joshi on Tuesday said martyrdom is not the monopoly of the Gandhi family and the assassinations of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were "accidents".

"I pity Rahul Gandhi's intelligence. Martyrdom is not Gandhi family's monopoly. India's struggle for Independence saw the martyrdoms of Bhagat Singh, Sawarkar and Chandra Shekhar Azad. What happened with the members of the Gandhi family were accidents. There is a difference between accidents and martyrdom," Joshi said.

"But one can speak only according to the level of one's intelligence," he told reporters in reply to a question about the Congress leader's concluding speech at the end of his Bharat Jodo Yatra in Srinagar.

Joshi, who is the state's Minister for Agriculture, Farmers Welfare, Rural Development and Sainik Kalyan, also credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the smooth conclusion of Rahul Gandhi's Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir.

"The credit goes to the Prime Minister. If the Article 370 had not been abolished under his leadership and normalcy had not returned to Jammu and Kashmir, Rahul Gandhi would not have been able to unfurl the national flag at Lal Chawk. BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi had unfurled the tricolour at Lal Chawk when violence was at its peak in J&K," Joshi said.

Recalling the moments when he was informed about the assassination of his grandmother and father -- former prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi -- over phone calls, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi had on Monday said the inciters of violence will never understand that pain.

"Those who incite violence – like Modiji, Amit Shahji, the BJP and the RSS – will never understand this pain. The family of an Army man will understand, the family of the CRPF personnel who were killed in Pulwama will understand, Kashmiris will understand that pain when one gets that call. PTI ALM CK

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