"My mother taught me that if you earn it yourself, it will last longer," Robert Vadra said.
Robert Vadra, the husband of Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, says he has "learnt a lot in the past 20 years", as part of the Nehru-Gandhi family, but when it comes to joining politics, he wants to earn it. The businessman, who is being investigated over allegations of money laundering and illegal land deals, also says that he has tolerated so much political attack that it has stopped affecting him.
On joining politics, he says he knows that his association with the family doesn't mean it is a given.
"I have utmost respect for the legacy. It's not ok that because I am a part of this family I should just go and adorn a certain kind of attire and be a part of the surrounding and say hey I am also somebody important or significant. I have to earn it. That's what my mother taught me. That if you earn it yourself, it will last longer," Robert Vadra told NDTV in an interview.
Whether the 50-year-old father of two would follow his wife into politics generated much interest weeks after Priyanka Gandhi joined the Congress as a general secretary. Posters in his hometown Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh "welcomed" him to contest the national election from there.
He first said he would "start working on it", then retracted, saying he needed to learn more.
"Until and unless I don't understand a village or the people I am going to represent, how can I just go and represent them or be in parliament? I have to earn it myself. I have to learn, I have to understand everybody," he said.
Asked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP attacking members of the Nehru Gandhi family including Rajiv Gandhi, who was assassinated in 1991 by a suicide bomber, he said: "They keep taking my name whenever they are in trouble and divert the issue. I am a member of this family, but I have never misused it. People can think whatever they want."
The attacks, he said, continued no matter what proof he offered in his favour.
"I have tolerated so much that it doesn't affect me that much. I am targeted because I am a member of this family. I learn from everything. I told Enforcement Directorate officers I am learning from you too…your questions, your investigation…the 10-12 hours of questioning, people following me to the toilet…"
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