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Rahul’s Amethi visit: Attacks on PM likely to intensify Cong-BJP war of words

In his visit to Amethi, his first since the UP elections, Gandhi set the tone for the Congress counter-attack on BJP leaders by giving a list of 12 development projects that he claimed were brought to Amethi during the tenure of the UPA government.

lucknow Updated: Oct 07, 2017 07:17 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Rahul Gandhi,Amethi,Rahul in Amethi
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi interacts with a group of Anganwadi workers during his visit to Amethi on Thursday. (PTI Photo)

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s sharpened attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his three-day visit to Amethi, his Lok Sabha seat, are likely to intensify the ongoing ‘war of words’ between the Congress and the BJP.

On the first day of the visit on Wednesday, Rahul blamed the PM for failing to deliver in the past three years. He said ‘instead of wasting time’, the PM should focus on creating of jobs for youths and resolving the crisis in the agriculture sector.

He attended a ‘chaupal’ (gathering) of farmers at Kathaura village on the first day and a closed door interaction with party workers and brief interaction with reporters on second day. He met senior Congress leaders from Amethi and Rae Bareli before winding up his three-day visit on Friday.

This visit to Amethi was Gandhi’s first after the UP assembly elections. As it preceded the proposed visit of BJP president Amit Shah, chief minister Yogi Adityanath, union minister Smriti Irani and other senior BJP leaders to Amethi on October 10, the Congress leaders will keep a close watch and launch a counter offensive on the ruling party soon afterwards.

Gandhi set the tone for the Congress counter-attack on BJP leaders by giving a list of 12 development projects that he claimed were brought to Amethi during the tenure of the UPA government. He said the BJP leaders were now trying to take credit and re-inaugurate many of these projects. He asked his party leaders to take to people the ‘failures’ of the Modi government on the job creation front and farmers’ problems. The partymen have started working out a plan to reach out to villagers.

Addressing partymen, Gandhi specifically targeted the PM for his ’56-inch chest’ remark. He also spoke about the UPA government’s schemes and listed the achievements of Manmohan Singh as PM. He briefed party workers about the Modi government’s policies on demonetisation and implementation of the GST.

He said party workers should tell the people how ‘lakhs had been rendered jobless’ after implementation of these policies.

Amethi District Congress Committee (DCC) president Yogendra Mishra said: “Yes, BJP leaders do come to Amethi for a picnic. We are not aware of what they will be doing in Amethi. We will, however, take the Congress vice-president’s message to the people. The Amethi Congress has already launched a programme to reach out to a village every day and take his message to the people. We have covered about 200 villages. The remaining 600 villages will be covered soon.”

Gandhi also met party workers from Rae Bareli, the Lok Sabha seat of his mother Sonia Gandhi, the Congress president.

“We will soon work out a programme to launch an agitation and focus on failures of the Narendra Modi government,” said VK Shukla, the Rae Bareli Congress chief.

First Published: Oct 07, 2017 07:14 IST