India can never forgive Prabhakaran: Priyanka Gandhi (Lead)

April 21st, 2009 - 6:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Priyanka Gandhi Amethi, April 21 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka Gandhi Tuesday said that India cannot forgive LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran for her father’s assassination in 1991, but she personally does not hate him.
Priyanka Gandhi, who is campaigning for her brother Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi in his Amethi constituency, told reporters: “Politically speaking former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was killed and India can never forgive them (LTTE) for it. However, as a person I do not have any grudges against him (Prabhakaran) and do not hate him.”

“I think… speaking for all my family.., politics is quite separate for us from personal grief. None of us have personal hatred towards those who killed my father,” she said.

Referring to Nalini, who is serving life term in Vellore prison for involvement in the assassination, Priyanka Gandhi said Nalini “is also a human like us and personally I do not hate her for what she had done”.

Asked if she had forgiven Nalini, she said: “I am like Nalini, a human being, and humans cannot forgive each other.”

Speaking about her meeting last year with Nalini, she said: “It is a personal issue. I don’t understand this word ‘closure’. When you lose somebody you love a lot there is never a closure.”

She was replying to a question on whether the meeting had helped in the “closure” of the issue of her father’s death.

“I learnt a lot from my meeting with her (Nalini),” she added.

Priyanka Gandhi had gone to meet Nalini in Vellore prison in an unpublicised visit in March last year. She clarified later that the visit was a purely personal one and that “meeting Nalini was my way of coming to terms with my father’s death”.

Nalini was found guilty of being part of the conspiracy to kill Rajiv Gandhi on May 21, 1991, at an election rally near Chennai.

When a reporter told her that the people of Amethi saw in her the image of her grandmother, former prime minister Indira Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi replied: “People say this because I resemble her (Indira). But as an individual, my personality and character are different from that of my grandmother, mother and father.”

She once again refused to comment on when she would be making her political debut.

“I will only work to strengthen the party (Congress). As of now, I do not wish to enter the political arena,” she said.

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