The 2019 Lok Sabha election, especially the contest in Varanasi is “a fight for a new independence,” Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said on Wednesday, addressing party workers in the constituency held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Ms. Vadra’s address came at the conclusion of her three-day boat tour on the Ganga, from Prayagraj to Varanasi, where she targeted Mr. Modi in a veiled manner.
Listing out the eight cmpaign promises made by the BJP in its manifesto for Varanasi in 2014, Ms. Vadra asked the audience if these had been fulfilled.
‘It is easy to make big promises,” she said. “Politics of publicity is easy,” Mr. Vadra quipped, adding that parties with access to substantial resources found it easy to conduct such politics.
Appealing to Congress workers to ensure their support to whomsoever the party chose as its candidate in Varanasi, Ms. Vadra acknowledged that there were flaws in the party organisation that needed to be corrected. However, the time to bicker among themselves was over, she told the workers.
The Congress leader, who started the final day of her tour from Chunar in Mirzapur, garlanded the statue of former PM Lal Bahadur Shastri enroute in Ramnagar (Varanasi) from where she reached Assi ghat on a boat.
At Assi, Ms. Vadra met a delegation of Jains and also interacted with fisherfolk of the Mallah community. After this, she performed Holika puja at Dashwamedh ghat. She also performed Ganga Arti and puja at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
Responding to a reporter’s query about Mr. Modi’s tweet blaming dynasty politics for damaging institutions, Ms. Vadra urged the PM to “stop thinking that people are fools” and “understand that they see through it”.
“The BJP has systematically attacked every institution in this country for the last five years, including the institution of which all of you are a part,” Ms. Vadra asserted during a brief media interaction at Chunar.
Addressing the Mallahs, an OBC community, Ms. Vadra acknowledged their problems with lost pattas (land grants) and informed them that Congress president Rahul Gandhi had aassured that if the party came to power at the Centre, it would set up a new ministry to solve the problems of the fisherfolk.
“You will have to show every leader, especially the arrogant BJP leaders, that you want a new politics, a new government, which makes policies for you and is committed to solving your problems,” Ms. Vadra said.
The meeting was, however, marred by clashes between workers of the party and BJP supporters, which prompted Ms. Vadra to advise the Congress workers to respect dissent. “Our politics is not of assaulting anyone,” she emphasised.
Ms. Vadra also visited the families of CRPF jawans Avadesh Yadav, Vishal Pandey and Ramesh Yadav who were killed in the Pulwama suicide bomb attack.
PM Modi should stop thinking people are fools, they see through everything, says Priyanka Gandhi Vadra – The Hindu