Suresh Gopi clarifies 'mother of India' reference about Indira Gandhi

Actor-turned-minister claims remarks were misinterpreted by the media

Union minister Suresh Gopi (photo: @mammukka/X)
Union minister Suresh Gopi (photo: @mammukka/X)


A day after his reference to late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as the "mother of India" received widespread attention, Union minister Suresh Gopi on Sunday clarified that he called the late leader the mother of the Congress party in the country, and his remarks were misinterpreted by the media.

The actor-turned-politician said he was a person talking from the heart and he firmly believed that there was nothing wrong in what he said about Indira Gandhi.

Addressing the media in Kerala's capital Thiruvananthapuram, the BJP leader asked reporters whether they didn't understand the "contextual meaning of language".

"What did I say? As far as the Congress is concerned...whether anyone likes it or not... K. Karunakaran is the father of the Congress party in Kerala. In India, its mother is Indira Gandhi. I said this from my heart," Suresh Gopi said.

The minister of state for petroleum and tourism, however, continued to lavish praise on Indira Gandhi on Sunday as well.

"Indira Gandhi is the real architect of India post-independence and until her demise. I have to make these attributions anyway. I cannot forget a person who had worked sincerely for the country only because she belonged to a rival political party," he added.

While visiting the memorial of late Congress chief minister K. Karunakaran in Thrissur on Saturday, Gopi had described Indira Gandhi as the "mother of India" and Karunakaran as a "courageous administrator". The BJP leader had also said he considered Karunakaran and Marxist veteran E.K. Nayanar his "political gurus".

Gopi said as he viewed Indira Gandhi as "bharathathinte mathavu" (mother of India), Karunakaran was the "father of the Congress party in the state" for him.

He explained that describing Karunakaran as the "father" of the Congress in Kerala was not a disrespect to the founders or co-founders of the grand old party in the state.

Gopi won the Thrissur Lok Sabha seat recently, opening the BJP's electoral account in Kerala. Thrissur witnessed a three-way contest for the Lok Sabha polls, with major candidates from the Congress, BJP, and CPI locked in a neck-and-neck battle.

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