Hitting the campaign trail in Uttar Pradesh, Congress' star campaigner Priyanka Gandhi on Friday asked the electorate to realise the strength of their vote and exercise their franchise for a change in the state where politics over the last 22 years has become totally "religion and caste-based".
"Election is the time when leaders come for electioneering of all kinds...I also come in your midst but who has the wisdom to recognise the reality of their candidates and the political parties...you...and take this into account when you go out to vote", Priyanka said at a public meeting in Balbhadrapur area of her brother Rahul Gandhi's parliamentary constituency.
"Times have come when the people are not getting their rights in their areas .. politics has become bad and become opportunistic and moves ahead only because of division of your vote", she said adding people and not leaders should be standing on the dias.
Stressing that it is wrong that people beg before their leaders, she said that in the past 22 years it has been caste and religion-based politics in UP which has been dominating at the cost of development.
Taking a stand similar to her brother, Priyanka said that people from here go out of the state to Maharashtra and Kerala to work as they are developed and now it is time to bring a change.
Endearingly terming her brother Rahul as "stubborn", Priyanka said that when he had set out to campaign in the last assembly elections she had asked why are you working so hard as the verdict was not known, he replied that his aim was not the verdict of election but was to change the state which was lagging behind.
She said the time has come to bring this change and it was not the prestige of her family nor of the Congress candidates but of the future of their families and their children.
"If Congress is strengthened and its government is formed in UP, it would would develop", she said.
She said that situation has come to such a pass when parties have to introduce their candidates and specifically mention that they have not committed crimes like murder, not snatched the land of people.
Priyanka will be staying in the area for five days.
At an interaction in Jamu area, Priyanka termed corruption, anarchy and lack of development as the biggest enemies of the people of Uttar Pradesh.
"Anarchy, corruption and opportunism are the biggest enemies of the people of Uttar Pradesh, not of Rahul Gandhi and they should rise up to change them (in these elections), Priyanka said when asked as to who is the main enemy of her party, Mayawati or Mulayam Singh Yadav.
She said people are now fed up and the reality is now dawning that this kind of politics is not working.
Exuding confidence that the "hard work of Rahul Gandhi would pay off" in these elections, she said that the frustration of chief minister Mayawati has started to show.
On social activist Anna Hazare and his impact on the elections, she said "ask the people... people will give a reply".