- Priyanka Gandhi held a roadshow in Kanpur to support Congress candidate
- "We will continue to serve you, whether you let us or not," she said
- She said PM Modi was a "weak leader" who could not tolerate dissent
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Friday said that while she cannot be compared to her illustrious grandmother, late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, she will spare no effort to follow in her footsteps by serving the nation.
"I am nothing in front of Indiraji but the desire for service that lived in her heart lives in the hearts of me and my brother (Congress president Rahul Gandhi) too. Nobody can take that out of us. We will continue to serve you, whether you let us or not," she said when party workers drew comparisons between her and Indira Gandhi at a meeting held to endorse party candidate Shriprakash Jaiswal in Uttar Pradesh's Kanpur.
Priyanka Gandhi attacked the ruling BJP government at the event, saying that it was concerned only about "its own progress" instead of the country's. "Governments are of two types... one that works for the people and those that care only for its own progress. The BJP government is all about publicity and showing off," she said.
A case in point, she said, was the centre's decision to extend one-rank-one-pension (OROP) benefits to armed forces personnel. "Is OROP really a gift or favour to the armed forces, or is it their right? The right of the armed forces is being publicised as a favour by the government. What is this mentality and who will change it?" she asked the crowd.
The Congress leader, who also held a massive road show, claimed that Kanpur has seen no development despite all the promises made by the ruling BJP. "They (the BJP) said they wanted to turn Kanpur into a smart city, but nothing has happened so far. The youth are unemployed, and farmers are committing suicide due to mounting debt," she said.
The Congress, she claimed, was committed to working for the people instead of those with bulging pockets. "We have promised Rs 72,000 per year for the poor, but the BJP is saying that there isn't enough money for that. And yet, they have enough money for industrialists," news agency PTI quoted her as saying. She also condemned the centre's twin initiatives of demonetisation and the goods and services tax, which she claimed had caused a lot of hardships to the people.
According to news agency ANI, Priyanka Gandhi also described Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a "weak leader who finds it tough to tolerate voices of dissent". Drawing a comparison between him and Rahul Gandhi, she said: "Look at these two people -- one does not have the capability to tolerate and the other is abused daily. These people (the BJP) abuse him (Rahul Gandhi) every day -- about his mother, father and grandmother but he listens to them with a smile. He thinks of improving himself and not shutting those who criticise him. This is called political will."
The 47-year-old Congress leader had entered active politics as the party in-charge of East Uttar Pradesh in January. Her jurisdiction extends over the constituencies of Varanasi, represented by PM Modi, and Gorakhpur, which belongs to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
(With inputs from Agencies)
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