Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday attempted to establish an emotional link with local voters by describing herself as a Punjabi ‘bahu’ (daughter-in-law), saying she felt at home in Punjab and among its people.
While hailing the valour of Punjabis and their ability to remain happy in all circumstances, she launched a vitriolic attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi by asking the audience whether they wanted a Prime Minister who was using martyrs for political purposes or some one who was son of a martyr.
“Do you want a Prime Minister who does politics of martyrs or want to make a martyr’s son (Rahul Gandhi) the Prime Minister?” she asked, addressing a rally in Bathinda in support of Congress candidate Amrinder Singh Raja Warring.
The Congress leader urged people to teach a lesson to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) for harassment meted out to them.
While taking on Modi for “brazenly lying and cheating” to further his political interests, the Congress leader also criticised the SAD on the issues of sacrilege and mafia rule during their regime.
Lambasting the Akalis, she said they had handed over the state to drugs, liquor, sand and transport mafias during their 10-year rule. If Punjab’s youth were being destroyed by drugs, it was because of the BJP and the Akalis, she said.
Describing Punjab as the land of gurus and criticising the Akalis for instances of sacrilege, Priyanka said “those who destroyed Sri Guru Granth Sahib were destroying the soul of Punjab.”
Priyanka, accompanied by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, appealed to people to strengthen the Congress with their votes in this “battle for the future of India” and to teach “arrogant” Harsimrat Kaur Badal, SAD candidate from Bathinda, a lesson for the Akali’s misdeeds.
Pointing to the poor response to Modi’s Monday rally at the same ground, Priyanka hailed people for their befitting reply to the Prime Minister’s saga of false promises.
Later at a rally in Pathankot, she reiterated Modi vs Rahul Gandhi topic by urging people to distinguish between a Prime Minister who does politics over martyrs and a son of martyr.
Leading a road show atop a truck in support of Sunil Jakhar, party’s candidate for Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat, Priyanka said Modi was the biggest “abhineta” (actor) who had spent the last five years portraying and spreading lies and falsehoods.
Stating that Modi had not even spared martyrs or ex-servicemen, she said, the Prime Minister was for politicising the sacrifices and services of ex-soldiers by claiming ‘one rank, one pension’ (OROP) scheme was a “gift” to them.
Taking a pot shot at the BJP, Priyanka, in an apparent reference to actor Sunny Deol, asked the people if they wanted a “neta” (leader) or an “abhineta” and introduced Jakhar as the real “neta” of the people.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
First Published: May 15, 2019 09:08 IST