Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh:
Priyanka Gandhi, seen as the chief architect of her party the Congress' alliance with the Samajwadi Party for the Uttar Pradesh elections, offered a riposte today to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's attacks on Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and her brother and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, the faces of their partnership.
- PM Modi had claimed UP was like "mai-baap" to him during a election rally
- Priyanka has restricted campaigning to Sonia and Rahul's constituencies
- BJP claims she was missing in action as she had no answers for people
"UP doesn't need an adopted son to do good for the state, Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav are two sons of UP," said Ms Gandhi, in a short speech in Raebareli, her mother and Congress President Sonia Gandhi's parliamentary constituency. It was in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who said at an election rally yesterday that he is the "adopted son of UP," drawing parallels with Lord Krishna.
"Krishna was born in Uttar Pradesh but made Gujarat his karma bhoomi. I was born in Gujarat but Uttar Pradesh has adopted me," said the Prime Minister, who represents UP's Varanasi in parliament. He said UP was like "mai-baap" or parents to him and he felt privileged, vowing not to let down the state.
"What have you done for Varanasi," Ms Gandhi asked, also invoking her father when she said, "Rajiv Gandhi developed Amethi, what a prime minster can do for a constituency everyone knows."
Her brother too attacked PM Modi with a Bollywood reference, saying he promised "achhe din" like Shah Rukh Khan in "Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge" but ended up being villain Gabbar Singh of "Sholay."
The BJP, led by the PM and party chief Amit Shah, has labeled Mr Gandhi and Mr Yadav the "two shehazade or princes," accusing them of a direct and privileged access to power because they belong to political dynasties.
Anita Srivastava, the BJP candidate from Raebareli said, "the Gandhis have done nothing for this area, that is the truth."
In a crowd of over 5,000 women waiting for a glimpse of Priyanka Gandhi, 45-year-old Kalluri Devi said she had a few months ago handed an application to Sonia Gandhi personally requesting for a grant to build a house and for a hand pump to be installed at her house. "Sonia Gandhi told me she would pursue it.... If I met her again I will tell her that her people just don't listen to the poor," she said.
Ms Gandhi made her first public appearance in these elections only a day after Smriti Irani, union minister and Rahul Gandhi 's opponent in the 2014 national election in neighbouring Amethi, alleged that she was missing in action because she had no answers for the people.
Priyanka Gandhi has so far restricted her campaigning to her mother and brother's constituencies and there is no indication so far that she will change in the ongoing UP assembly elections being held in seven phases. Two phases of polling have already been held.