- Priyanka Gandhi Vadra called the BJP-led Centre anti-people, anti-farmer
- PM didn't visit a single village in Varanasi in 5 years, she alleged
- She said BJP was working to destroy the constitution and all institutions
In five years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not find time to visit a single village in his constituency Varanasi, Congress president Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said today at a rally in Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh as part of her campaign for next month's national election.
"I was stunned to hear from people in Varanasi that in five years, the PM didn't get time to go to a single village, visit even one family in his constituency," Priyanka Gandhi said, accusing PM Modi of running a government indifferent to the poor.
"He went to America, Japan, China, the entire world. But he didn't have the time to meet his own constituents. He has done nothing for the people in his own constituency, let alone the people across the rest of the country. It is no small thing, it is a big issue. It shows this government's intention. It is focused on making the rich richer but not helping the poor," she said.
She called the BJP-led government "janata-virodhi (anti-people) and kisan-virodhi (anti-farmer)."
The Congress leader said the BJP was working on a plan to destroy all institutions, the constitution and democracy.
"It is time for you all to think very hard about who you have given your vote to," said the 47-year-old, who has been tasked by the Congress to revive the party in eastern UP.
Priyanka Gandhi is visiting Ayodhya and Faizabad on the last day of her three-day campaign which began with a tour of Amethi and Raebareli, the constituencies of her brother Rahul Gandhi and mother Sonia Gandhi.
This round of her campaign made headlines as she indicated to reporters that she was open to contesting the polls, if her party wanted. Yesterday, some reports suggested that she had joked to workers about contesting from Varanasi. Today, she clarified that she would contest if her party wanted her to, but would prefer party work.
On Friday, her campaign started off on a false note; the Congress leader failed to show up at the first corner meeting she was scheduled to address around noon, in a village close to the Kumarganj block of the Ayodhya district. For close to two hours, about 400 people waited for her to arrive. An announcement was finally made over the loudspeaker that Priyanka Gandhi would only greet people on the main road and would not address a rally after all.
While some rushed to meet her on the main road, others, particularly women, were left fuming. "She should have come, even if for five minutes. She is a big leader. We waited for hours. She may be a busy person but she should have found time for us," said 18-year-old Anjali Yadav, who was looking forward to meeting Priyanka Gandhi.
The Faizabad seat includes Ayodhya - the temple town home to the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute. In Ayodhya, Priyanka Gandhi visited the famous Hanuman Gadhi temple after several small meetings.
In the 2009 election, the Congress won the Faizabad seat and also constituencies surrounding it, like Barabanki, Gonda and Bahraich. But in 2014, the party lost all these seats to the BJP. Reviving the party in this region is one of Priyanka Gandhi's priorities.
The national election will begin on April 11 and take place in seven rounds across the country. Uttar Pradesh, which has 80 seats, will vote in all the phases. The results will be declared on May 23.