UP polls: BJP 'cutting Yogi to size', can have only one supreme leader, says Priyanka

  • This is the first time that Adityanath, the five-time Lok Sabha MP, will take part in the Assembly election.
In an interview, Vadra said the BJP’s motive to field the chief minister from Gorakhpur is an open secret.(File image)
In an interview, Vadra said the BJP’s motive to field the chief minister from Gorakhpur is an open secret.(File image)
Updated on Jan 25, 2022 07:37 PM IST
Copy Link
Written by Shubhangi Gupta | Edited by Sohini Goswami, New Delhi

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Tuesday the decision of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to field Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath from home turf Gorakhpur for the upcoming assembly polls was an attempt to "cut him to size" as in an "autocratic system like theirs, there can only be one supreme leader".

On January 15, the ruling BJP said Adityanath will contest the Assembly election from the Gorakhpur Urban seat, putting to rest speculations of the chief minister entering the poll fray from the high-stakes Ayodhya seat.

This is the first time that Adityanath, the five-time Lok Sabha MP, will take part in the Assembly election.

Also read | After major hint on Congress CM face in UP, a clarification from Priyanka Gandhi

In an interview, Vadra said the BJP’s motive to field the chief minister from Gorakhpur is an open secret. “Looks to me like his leadership is attempting to cut him to size. It's an open secret that they have been wanting to do so for some time,” she said.

"Their internal pushes and pulls are beginning to reveal themselves in public now. I suppose in an autocratic system like theirs, there can only be one supreme leader," she added.

The Congress general secretary went on to attack the Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government for the handling of the second wave of the Covid pandemic, alleging that it failed to protect the people of the state and provide them with health facilities, oxygen, medication and hospital beds.

"Even worse was the fact that while failing to do all of this, it acted as an aggressor towards the public and those providing health services. Whether it was the 'asha bahus' who risked their lives to help others or doctors, nurses and health care professionals; instead of incentivising and supporting them, the government created an atmosphere of fear," she alleged.

Also read | Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh among Congress’ star campaigners for first phase

She said the BJP government's efforts were focussed on covering up the truth rather than saving lives which, according to her, compounded the problem because people could not even appeal for help, while enduring the most terrifying and tragic circumstances.

"Having said that, I cannot say how deeply this will affect the upcoming elections -- people tend to put tragedies behind them and move forward. However, I feel that a government must be held accountable for its actions," the Congress leader said.

"When so many lives are lost and people go through so much suffering, it should not be brushed under the carpet. It is up to us as a people to demand accountability from those in power. This is a fundamental aspect of democracy," she added.

Regarding her party's move to make a strong pitch for women in the polls, she said the purpose of giving the Unnao rape victim's mother a ticket to fight the election is to convey a very direct message -- the person who destroyed her family could do so and get away with it because he was an MLA, he had political power, and "we are enabling her to take that very same power, become an MLA, and use her power to rebuild her life and help others".

"The same goes for others like her who have genuinely struggled for the rights of their community, whether it is Poonam Pandey, the 'asha bahu' who was thrashed by the Yogi government just for demanding to be heard, or Ramraj Gond who led the struggle of the people of Umbha after the heinous massacre that took place with the collusion of the government and police in their village," she said.

Political power rightfully belongs to them and not to the mafias and criminals whom the government "protects", Vadra said, adding that her party is offering people such as Pandey and Gond the opportunity to claim it and use it to do good.

Polling for the 403-member Uttar Pradesh assembly is scheduled to be held in seven phases from February 10 to March 7 and the votes will be counted on March 10.

(With agency inputs)

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, May 27, 2022