New Delhi, Oct 20: People often claim that they see a reflection of Indira Gandhi in her grand daughter Priyanka Gandhi and a section in the Congress party has been consistently demanding that the later be given the party's helm.
If Indira's close aid and veteran Congress leader ML Fotedar is to be believed, then, the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, in her last days, too wished her grand daughter Priyanka Gandhi should carry forward her political legacy.
As per a report published in TOI, Fotedar (a long time political advisor to Indira) in his book has claimed that Indira Gandhi was convinced that Priyanka had all the elements of a great leader in the future and even she saw her reflection in the young girl.
Fotedar was quoted by TOI as saying, "Indira Gandhi had told me that the next century would belong to Priyanka and felt that she would make a great leader."
"On a Saturday, just three days before Indiraji was assassinated, we were in Kashmir. After visiting a temple there, we sat and relaxed before we headed back to Delhi. That is when she began talking to me about Priyanka," Fotedar further added.
''I was taken aback by the manner in which she opened up. Maybe she had a premonition that her end was imminent and she felt the need to talk about her desire to see Priyanka become a leader. I felt her words were really important. That night, I wrote down every word she said that day about Priyanka'', he added.
Describing Indira as ''a good judge of character'' Fotedar said she saw herself in Priyanka. Fotedar, however, has claimed that Indira's wish wasn't likened by her daughter-in-law Sonia Gandhi.
''After Indiraji's death, I told Rajiv [Gandhi] about Indira's views on Priyanka. I have also told Soniaji about Indiraji's desire to see Priyanka as a leader. I do see a lot of similarity between Indiraji and Priyanka.
I feel Priyanka has the same aggression that Indiraji had as a leader. The Priyanka we are seeing today is nothing. Just wait and watch. As Indiraji said, the next century belongs to Priyanka,'' Fotedar was quoted as saying.
Indira Gandhi was assasinated on October 31, 1984 in New Delhi.
An old time Gandhi loyalist, Fotedar has narrated these accounts in his book 'Chinar Leaves' that will be released on October 30 in New Delhi.