‘Votes can’t be won on beautiful faces’: Bihar minister on Priyanka Gandhi

Updated on Jan 25, 2019 03:57 PM IST

Before her appointment on Wednesday, Priyanka Gandhi has limited her political activities only in two parliamentary constituencies of Amethi and Rae Bareli.

Bihar minister Vinod Narayan Jha said that Priyanka Gandhi held no political achievement.(ANI Photo)
Bihar minister Vinod Narayan Jha said that Priyanka Gandhi held no political achievement.(ANI Photo)
Hindustan Times | By

Amid speculation about Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s possible impact on the politics of Uttar Pradesh following her appointment as the party in-charge of eastern UP, BJP leader and Bihar minister Vinod Narayan Jha has raised a few eyebrows with his comments on the new Nehru-Gandhi scion taking political plunge.

Dismissing Priyanka Gandhi as a factor in Uttar Pradesh in the upcoming parliamentary polls slated for April-May this year, Jha said votes are not cast “on the basis of beautiful faces” and also targetted her by raking up the alleged land scam involving her husband Robert Vadra.

Responding to Priyanka Gandhi’s elevation in the Congress as general secretary ahead of key Lok Sabha elections, Jha said, “Votes can’t be won on basis of beautiful faces. Moreover, she is wife of Robert Vadra who is accused of involvement in land scam and several corruption cases. She’s very beautiful but other than that she holds no political achievement.”

Reacting to Jha’s remarks on Priyanka Gandhi’s plunge in politics, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav targetted Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Yadav said, “Nitish Kumar is running an institute where he trains people how to abuse and make excuses. His cabinet ministers and spokespersons are trained there.”

Earlier on Thursday, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi also brought up the allegations against Priyanka Gandhi’s husband.

“Priyanka’s businessman husband’s irregular land transactions are spread across two states and he is facing probes. If the Congress wants to exult over the induction of a woman with a tainted life partner, it is most welcome to do so,” Modi said.

He said her appointment would bring the alleged corruption scandals against Robert Vadra onto the “centre-stage”, which would benefit the NDA.

“The BJP is not at all worried. Why should it be when her entry is only going to help us. The Congress has brought in Priyanka with a view to threaten the SP-BSP alliance, with the possibility of a split in their votes. It is a desperate attempt to make Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati rethink their strategy,” he said.

In a tweet, the senior BJP leader also scoffed at Priyanka Gandhi’s resemblance with her grandmother and former prime minister Indira Gandhi.

“If a person could become as capable as someone else merely by resembling him or her, by now we would have had many more Virat Kohlis and Amitabh Bachchans. Duplicates do not work in politics. Priyanka might resemble Indira, but there is a big difference,” Modi said.

The BJP has also described Priyanka Gandhi’s joining of politics as an acceptance of Rahul Gandhi’s failure by the Congress party. Mahajan too toed the same line.

Priyanka Gandhi was given the new responsibility on Wednesday by her brother and Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who later on Thursday said that the target for her is to “form next Congress government in Uttar Pradesh”. The Congress appointed two general secretaries for Uttar Pradesh – Priyanka Gandhi for the eastern UP and senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, the Lok Sabha MP from Guna in Madhya Pradesh for the western UP.

The move is being viewed a masterstroke by the Congress in politically significant Uttar Pradesh, which holds the key to power at the Centre. The development followed a BSP-SP seat-sharing arrangement for the Lok Sabha elections. BSP chief Mayawati and SP president Akhilesh Yadav announced that their parties would contest 38 seats each in Uttar Pradesh.

The two leaders left the Congress out of their politial tie-up. However, they also maintained that the BSP and the SP would not put up candidates from Amethi and Rae Bareli, the constituencies represented by Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi, the UPA chairperson.

The Congress has been a marginal force in Uttar Pradesh over last several elections. Its below par performance in the most populous state of the country has been blamed on the organisational weakness of the party. Priyanka Gandhi’s appointment as the Congress general secretary in-charge of UP East is being viewed as a move to boost the morale of the party workers at the ground level.

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