Rahul Gandhi, scion of India's leading political dynasty, yesterday said -- just hours after national elections were announced -- that his ruling Congress party will rout the main opposition with "love".
Gandhi, frontman for the Congress campaign and likely to become prime minister if it wins, said the party would overcome the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with love just as it did the British 67 years ago.
"The way that the Congress party sent the British away with love ... the Congress will now send the BJP away similarly with love," said Rahul at a rally in the western state of Maharashtra.
Rahul is the son, grandson and great-grandson of prime ministers and his family has dominated Indian politics since the country won independence from Britain in 1947.
Gandhi's great-grandfather was Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India, who played a key role in negotiations with the British on breaking free.
India announced elections for April 7 that pits 43-year-old Gandhi, vice president of Congress, against Hindu nationalist hardliner Narendra Modi.
Modi's BJP is tipped in opinion polls to emerge as the largest party in the next 543-member parliament when results are announced on May 16, ousting Congress from power after a decade.