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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Congress contesting Lok Sabha polls to save the country: Priyanka Gandhi

Priyanka said the NDA government was politicising all the issues. “They are politicising all that should not be done,” she said in response to a question about the PM’s address to the nation on Wednesday.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Mar 28, 2019 11:16 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Congress General Secretary UP-East Priyanka Gandhi Vadra
Congress General Secretary UP-East Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (PTI)

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday said the 2019 Lok Sabha election is being fought to ‘save the country’ and Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s victory would be the victory of India.

“I am telling them (partymen) to go to the people and fight the poll strongly. This election is being fought to save country and Rahul Gandhi’s victory will be victory of India,” said Priyanka while replying to a question that she was telling partymen about Rahul becoming the next Prime Minister. “These are not my words,” she said.

Priyanka said the NDA government was politicising all the issues. “They are politicising all that should not be done,” she said in response to a question about the PM’s address to the nation on Wednesday.

About whether she would contest the Lok Sabha election, Priyanka said “I will do what my party tells me to do.” Priyanka gave the same reply to questions about whether she would campaign for the party across the country.

While interacting with workers, Priyanka said Rahul Gandhi had tasked her with ensuring that the Congress formed the government in UP in the 2022 assembly elections and so she was working towards ‘Mission UP’ as well.

Priyanka, who arrived here on a two-day visit of Amethi and Rae Bareli to galvanise grassroots workers for the Lok Sabha elections, spoke about ‘Mission UP’ and the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls at a number of closed-door interactions with booth level workers in Musafirkhana here.

“Rahul has given me the task of forming the Congress government in the next assembly elections in the state. You have seen me working till 4 am. I will work harder to accomplish this task,” a worker quoted Priyanka as telling the party’s worker here.

“We will restart all development projects initiated during the tenure of my father, former Prime Minister late Rajiv Gandhiji. Their (BJP) government took away major projects like mega food park, paper mill and IIIT from here. They re-launched the gun factory started by us here,” another worker quoted Priyanka as saying at an interaction with workers of Bhadar block.

“We have all been given the task of going to every home in our booth area and telling people how the BJP government has failed on all the fronts. We are also going to remind the people about the hardships faced by the people during demonetisation and imposition of GST etc,” said a group of youths that included Prashant Dwivedi, Atul Pandey and Ashish Mishra of the local NSUI unit here.

Priyanka also tasked the workers to further strengthen the party organisation and ensure a larger victory margin in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

“I have learnt a lot while working with you here since 1999. We need to strengthen the party at the booth level. I have been doing this over the years. This is my area of specialisation,” she said.

As Priyanka held closed-door meetings, partymen standing outside the venue raised slogans: “Chowkidar chor hai”. A group of Jan Adhikar Party workers also waved flags to show solidarity with their ally, Congress.

Priyanka’s observations, meanwhile, became a point of discussion among partymen. “Our elders have been telling us not to take any rival lightly. We will continue to work seriously on our booths,” said Daya Shankar Mishra.

As there has been a demand for Rahul to contest from a seat in south India, too, some party leaders have given the slogan of “Abki bar, 5 lakh paar (we will cross 5 lakh votes this time) to ensure a ‘larger victory margin’ for Rahul.”

After holding meetings with workers of Amethi, Priyanka will leave for Rae Bareli to hold similar meetings with partymen at UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s Rae Bareli Lok Sabha constituency. She will later be on a day-long visit to Ayodhya to campaign for the party in the Faizabad Lok Sabha constituency on Friday and leave for New Delhi the same evening.

Posters in Amethi question Priyanka’s ‘absence’

Ahead of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s visit to her brother and party president Rahul Gandhi’s constituency, a row broke out on Wednesday over some posters questioning her “absence” from the family bastion.

The posters, spotted near the Musafirkhana bus stand, carried a sketch of Priyanka and the picture of a leader from the Samajwadi Party’s student wing.

“Kya khoob thagti ho, kyun paanch saal baad hi Amethi mein dikhti ho (Why do you fool us and show up in Amethi only after five years),” one poster said.

It said she should give an “account” for the past 60 years.

Another poster suggested that she wore saris just to influence voters.

Just hours after the posters appeared, Jaisingh Pratap Singh -- the SP student wing leader whose picture the posters carried -- complained to the district authorities, demanding an inquiry.

“This poster has been put up as an act of political vendetta by some mischievous elements misusing my picture,” he said in a letter handed over to district magistrate Ram Manohar Misra.

The letter said neither he nor any party worker was involved. “This is a conspiracy to defame me and Priyanka Gandhi,” he said.

He argued that party workers would not oppose Priyanka Gandhi when SP president Akhilesh Yadav has decided not to field any candidate from the constituency.

The opposition alliance in Uttar Pradesh, which includes Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, has decided not contest from the Congress strongholds of Rae Bareli and Amethi.


First Published: Mar 28, 2019 11:15 IST