Indira Wanted Priyanka
It is well known that Makhan Lal Fotedar was not only Indira Gandhi’s election agent but her confidant as well. His powers were no less than R.K. Dhawan’s but while the latter dealt with individuals, Fotedar was trusted with resolving knotty political problems. He has now revealed that the late Prime Minister saw potential in Priyanka and was certain that she had the ability to become a great leader and to carry forward her political legacy.
He had also claimed that Indira had predicted her death days before she was assassinated and wished her granddaughter Priyanka Gandhi to step in her shoes. According to a report published in an English daily, Fotedar said that Indira had told him that the next century belonged to Priyanka. He said that three days before Indira was assassinated, they were both in Kashmir, where one day after visiting a temple there they sat and relaxed. It is then when she began talking to him about Priyanka and her potential. “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.”
Although, he said that Sonia Gandhi did not seem to agree with Indira’s suggestion. He said, “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. Priyanka we are seeing today is nothing. Just wait and watch. As Indiraji said, the next century belongs to Priyanka.”
What to believe? Indira Gandhi died in 1984 when Priyanka must be about 12 years old. Visitors to Fotedar at 1 Akbar Road recall hearing Rahul and Priyanka in 1982 playing at the back of his room and chatting with the gardener’s children, speaking in Avadhi.