- Priyanka Gandhi on three-day boat ride campaign in Uttar Pradesh
- Priyanka Gandhi leading Congress campaign in eastern Uttar Pradesh
- "Gandhis come for picnic before elections": UP deputy Chief Minster
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, during a pit-stop today in her boat-ride in Uttar Pradesh to campaign for the national election, said that the ruling BJP's statement about the Congress not doing anything for the past 70 years is "past its expiry date".
The Congress leader is on a three-day boat campaign on the Ganga from Prayagraj to Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency.
Asked to respond to the BJP's staple critique of the Congress, Priyanka Gandhi said: "The BJP's repeated statements that the Congress has not done anything for 70 years has an expiry date and that expiry date has gone." The charge, she added, doesn't cut much ice anymore.
She also tackled a reporter's question on the BJP's Dinesh Sharma, the Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, accusing the Gandhis - Priyanka and her brother Rahul Gandhi, Congress president - of "coming for a picnic" before elections and vanishing just after.
"Well, I haven't been to Italy in the last three to four years. I should go in fact to see my grandmother," Priyanka Gandhi, 47, remarked.
The newly-minted Congress leader, tasked with leading the party campaign in the eastern half of Uttar Pradesh, also hit out at Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who held a press conference in Lucknow to present his "two-year report card" and spent much of his time slamming previous governments.
"It is all good to produce report cards but the question is, what has happened on the ground. On the ground there is distress," she said.
The Congress is banking on Priyanka Gandhi to boost its campaign in Uttar Pradesh after years in the margins of a politically vital state that has given the party some of its most iconic leaders, including prime ministers.
In 2014, the Congress was reduced to just two seats in the 80-seat UP, retaining just the Amethi and Raebareli constituencies of Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi. For years, Priyanka Gandhi had confined herself to campaigning just in these two seats.
Her political debut has been dismissed by the BJP as a non-starter. Leaders of the ruling party say regardless of Priyanka, the Congress will end up with the same two seats.