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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

'Pained' Priyanka says Robert Vadra being targeted for political reasons

PTI  Rae Bareli (UP), April 22, 2014
First Published: 14:57 IST(22/4/2014) | Last Updated: 13:00 IST(23/4/2014)

Breaking her silence for the first time on allegation against her husband, a "pained" Priyanka Gandhi on Tuesday said Robert Vadra is being targeted for political reasons and asserted that her resolve to fight back will increase with every attack by the opponents.

Campaigning for her mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh's Rae Bareli, she said Vadra was being attacked by the Bharatiya Janata Party to divert the attention of the people from the development issues to "meaningless talk" and that the "truth" about her husband will prevail.

BJP's prime ministerial pick Narendra Modi, has in his election rallies dared the Gandhi family to explain what he describes as a sensational leap in the fortunes of Vadra, a 45-year-old entrepreneur whose business interests include real estate.

The opposition - including Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal - allege that the Congress government in Haryana bent the rules to assign sweetheart land deals to Vadra.

"Many things are being said about my family, my husband. I feel sad the way humiliating things are being said. The more I will be humiliated, more will be my determination to fight," she said.

"I feel pained, not for myself, not because somebody is ridiculing and the truth is not being told, not because everyday I tell my children that the truth will prevail. I feel pained at the kind of politics that has come to the fore in these elections," she told the gathering.

"I am pained that while this election should have been contested on development, needs of the people, employment for youth....instead, an attempt is being made to mislead you towards meaningless talk," she added.

Later, she told reporters, "There has been a political attack on my family. They have used my husband for political attack. It has been going on for two years and I feel very strongly about it."

Invoking Indira Gandhi, Priyanka said she had learnt from her grand mother how to fight back as "truth is like a shield".

Deploring the politics of divisiveness, Priyanka said India was known for its tolerance since it is the land of Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi.

The country has accepted her mother Sonia, who was not born here, but now attempts are being made to inject "poison", she said.

"Do you want a country of the Buddha, of Mahatma Gandhi where Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians live together or a country where you fight one another and one community is taken forward while another is left behind and division is created in terms of caste and religion," she asked those present at the public meeting, apparently attacking BJP and Modi.

She said she was confident that the people of the constituency would vote for Sonia as she had always fought for them, a fact they are "aware about".

Priyanka said she was sure that people would do so not just because they were connected with her family but because they knew of her work.

"My mother has always been with you through your struggles and you too have been with her through her struggles," she told the gathering.

"The affection we get from you is sufficient... I believe that you (people) will support Soniaji, but I want that you vote for the country," she said.

Priyanka said that Sonia has ensured development of Rae Bareli and this would continue in the same manner.


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