Lok Sabha elections 2019: Priyanka Gandhi takes on PM Modi in BJP bastion Ghaziabad
Congress star campaigner and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi reached the BJP bastion of Ghaziabad on Friday, leading a massive road show in which she also clicked selfies with the party supporters and addressed them at Maliwara.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has held the seat ever since its creation in 2008. Home minister Rajnath Singh had won the seat in 2009 and former army chief VK Singh won it in 2014. VK Singh is again the party candidate from Ghaziabad. Ghaziabad, along with Gautam Budh Nagar, will go to polls on April 11.
This was the first campaign rally by a Congress heavyweight in western UP. Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath have campaigned in the region.
Accompanied by Congress candidate from Ghaziabad, Dolly Sharma, atop an SUV, Priyanka interacted with people throughout the two-kilometre roadshow from Ramte Ram Road to Ambedkar Road. Upbeat Congress workers and supporters played drums and shouted slogans in favour of Priyanka Gandhi and party president Rahul Gandhi. Thousands were spotted standing atop commercial and residential buildings as her cavalcade crawled slowly through the congested lanes.
Waving at her supporters and accepting garlands from them, Priyanka took a dig at Modi, saying he had gone to several countries and hugged people but did nothing for the people in his own constituency, Varanasi.
“Around 15 days ago, I had gone to Varanasi thinking that the PM would have met people during the campaigns and taken up development works. There, people told me ‘Didi, he comes, but he goes away after making speeches’. They said he holds big rallies and takes off,” she said.
“I was surprised. He went to Japan where he hugged people, went to Pakistan and had biryani... He went to China where he, again, hugged... He also hugged people in Africa. But has anyone seen him hugging a poor family from Varanasi? You should understand this,” Priyanka said.
She said the people should choose Congress’ people-centric politics over BJP’s ‘pracharwadi rajneeti’ (propaganda politics). “When we say we will give ?72,000 to families, they question us. They have waived off ?3,17,000 crore for industrialists. GST broke the back of small traders. I went to Bhadohi recently and saw how small industries and traders have suffered,” she said.
Priyanka also criticised Modi for targeting her family. “PM Modi keeps asking what did Jawaharlal Nehru do...What did Indira Gandhi do? What did you do in the past five years?” she said.
City BJP president Man Singh Goswami said Priyanka should not teach the PM how to treat poor, since he himself has risen to the top post from humble origins. He also said that GST?has contributed to the development of the country. “A man from a simple family knows how to hug and treat poor...The GST has simplified the tax structure and also got rid of inspector raj. Tax evasion has reduced and revenues are devoted for development works which are seen at the ground level,” Goswami said.