In Priyanka Gandhi’s double-barrelled attack on UP govt, Mayawati also target
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Friday asserted she is former prime minister Indira Gandhi’s granddaughter and dared the Uttar Pradesh government to take action against her for “speaking the truth”.
She also launched a veiled attack on Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, calling her an “undeclared BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) spokesperson”.
In a series of tweets, Priyanka Gandhi alleged that the Uttar Pradesh government is threatening her through various departments for speaking the truth.
“I am Indira Gandhi’s granddaughter and not an undeclared BJP spokesperson like some of the opposition leaders,” she said.
The attack came a day after the Uttar Pradesh State Commission for Protection of Child Rights issued a notice to Priyanka Gandhi, asking her to file a reply within three days for her “misleading” comment on the Kanpur shelter home where 57 girls tested positive for Covid-19.
In another development, the Agra administration asked her to withdraw a claim about a high number of Coronavirus deaths in the district.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, she attacked the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh over a media report about two girls being found pregnant in the state-run child shelter home, saying it showed facts were being suppressed in the name of investigation at such facilities.
“As a servant of the people, my duty is towards the people of Uttar Pradesh. And this duty is to put out the truth before them and not to put forth government propaganda. The UP government is wasting its time by threatening me through its various departments,” Priyanka Gandhi tweeted in Hindi on Friday.
“They can take whatever action they want. I will keep putting forth the truth.”
Though she did not name Mayawati while tweeting about “an undeclared BJP spokesperson”, the target was obvious.
Mayawati has repeatedly backed the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre on the border standoff with China in Galwan Valley of eastern Ladakh.
In one of her tweets last week, the BSP chief said the people of India are confident that the Centre would “take the right decisions to keep the honour, pride and glory of the country intact and never allow anyone to grab even an inch of land”.
She had taken a similar stand at the all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 19 to discuss the border situation.
Much to the surprise of other opposition leaders, Mayawati has been praising the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh on various issues, including its arrangements to send migrant workers home and its handling of the attacks on Dalits in the state by acting promptly against the perpetrators.
While she had described Priyanka Gandhi’s offer of buses to ferry the migrant workers as a “’political ploy”, Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya called her “twitter-wali neta” for her sustained attacks on the state government.
The relations between the BSP chief and the Congress soured after a warm and affectionate hug between Sonia Gandhi and Mayawati at the swearing-in ceremony of Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy in May 2018.
Not only did Mayawati field her candidates in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh during assembly elections in 2018 despite the Congress pushing for a tie-up, she ensured that the grand old party did not become part of a broad-based alliance in Uttar Pradesh for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls after joining hands with arch-rival Samajwadi Party (SP).
However, she has been soft on both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, saying their intentions for a Congress-BSP alliance were honest.
The Congress leadership too has so far avoided criticism of Mayawati, with Rahul Gandhi saying he “respected her contribution to the country and considered her a national symbol”.
But whether that mutual respect will remain or swords will get further sharpened on both sides will be known in the run-up to assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, given that Priyanka Gandhi is focussed on reviving the Congress in the country’s politically important state. The elections are due in Uttar Pradesh in 2022.
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