On the penultimate day of campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections, Congress's Priyanka Gandhi Vadra spoke of the basic tenets of leadership, arguing that it is the largeness of heart and not the size of chest that matters. The 47-year-old, who made headlines earlier this week by stopping her journey midway to meet and greet a group of BJP supporters, said, "You (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) boasted about your 56-inch chest, but where is your heart?"
Priyanka Gandhi's brother, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, has argued that this nation can be won with love and inclusiveness, against what he called the BJP's policy of divisiveness and hate. His sister -- who earlier made jibes about the size of PM Modi's chest -- said the Prime Minister is "arrogant" and does not care about the nation's farmers.
PM Modi had made his "56-inch" claim while campaigning for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. At a rally in Gorakhpur, which is also in Uttar Pradesh, he attacked Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav over development in Gujarat and said, "You can't make a Gujarat. That needs a "chhappan inch ki chhati (56-inch chest)".
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also took aim at her rival over the narrative of nationalism and national security that the BJP has tried to make its primary focus in this general election, saying, "The PM talks about Pakistan while speaking on nationalism. For him, nationalism is all about speaking on the work done to counter Pakistan. Employment and farmer issues are not nationalism to him".
"In the past five years, Modi was seen going to every place across the world, but he never bothered to meet farmers of his own country", she added, targeting the Prime Minister over his flagship scheme for farmers.
The BJP-led central government launched a contentious Rs 75,000 crore Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme earlier this year. Under the scheme a total of Rs 6,000 will be paid to 12 crore small and marginal farmers.
However the opposition was left unimpressed, with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi taking to Twitter to criticise PM Modi for "5 years of incompetence".
Dear NoMo,— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) February 1, 2019
5 years of your incompetence and arrogance has destroyed the lives of our farmers.
Giving them Rs. 17 a day is an insult to everything they stand and work for. #AakhriJumlaBudget
In comparison, the Congress had announced the Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) under which Rs 72,000 would be given every year to each poor family, the Congress leader said.
She also criticised the centre over the loss of five crore jobs in five years and the 24 lakh government posts lying vacant and promised both issues would be fixed if her party came to power.
PM Modi's 56-inch chest claim has also been mocked by Congress leader Urmila Matondkar.
The former actress, who is the party's candidate for the Mumbai North seat, said the biopic made on the Prime Minister's life was a joke "as the prime minister, who claims to have a 56-inch-chest, has miserably failed to deliver anything".
The Maharajganj constituency votes on May 19 in the seventh and final phase of the election. Results will be declared on May 23.
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