A day after Narendra Modi described Rahul Gandhi as a “namuna” (an odd or clownish character), Priyanka Vadra retorted that those who aspired to be prime minister should be dignified, not childish.
“Ek party hai uske neta mere bhai Rahul ko kabhi namuna kehte hain, kabhi shehzada kehte hain, kabhi mazaakiya kehte hain. Arey PM banne ki aas rakhte ho toh bachpane mein kyon padte ho? Pad ki garima ko samajhiye? (There is the leader of a party, who refers to my brother Rahul Gandhi as a namuna, a shehzada, and a clown. If you aspire to be PM, then why do you indulge in such childish behaviour? You should understand the dignity of the position),” she told a public meeting in Deeh village in the Salon assembly segment of Amethi on Tuesday.
Instead of making puerile comments, these leaders should tell the people what they did for the empowerment of women and employment of the youth, Priyanka said.
Leaders of this same party had criticised her father Rajiv Gandhi when he spoke of computers and information technology, Priyanka said, without naming the BJP. “Mobile se zindagi aasan hui ki nahin? (Haven’t mobile phones made your life easier?) My brother also has a long-term vision, which these leaders with a narrow mindset would never understand.”
Clutching some handwritten notes, Priyanka spoke of how the development that Rahul had brought to Amethi would “stay for long”, and contribute to the economic development of the region. Her brother thinks “10 years ahead”, beyond just “handpumps”, she said.
“He has ensured that you get better connectivity with the rest of the country and the world. Apart from new inter-city trains, there are various MEMU-DEMU (mainline electric multiple unit and diesel multiple unit) trains connecting the region. There are express trains that pass through here now. The region has got 20 new trains and 14 stops, and there is now a network of seven national highways around Amethi and Rae Bareli.”
Priyanka also spoke about the creation of an education hub near Jias, and the coming of an IIIT, Kasturba Gandhi Vidyalayas and model schools to Amethi. She told the gathering that an upcoming food park would ensure better packaging and cold storage facilities.
“This is not all, he has ensured that Fursatganj airstrip gets the status of cargo terminal so that your produce can go to different parts of the country and abroad. Aapki upaj desh-videsh mein seedhe pahunchegi.
“Rahul ji ke liye nahin, apne bachchon ke bhavishya ke liye, is desh ke bhavishya ke liye vote kariye (Not for Rahul, vote for the future of your children, vote for the future of this country),” she exhorted the crowd.
Alongside targeting the BJP, Priyanka also launched her first attack on the Aam Aadmi Party candidate against Rahul, Kumar Vishwas. She did not, however, name him.
“There are other candidates who come to you and criticize Amethi and say that there is no development here,” she said. “Ek to aisi party ke ummeedwaar hain jo na Centre mein hain aur na state mein. Aur lagta nahin ki ayenge bhi. (There is the candidate of a party which is present neither at the Centre nor at the state level. And I do not think it will ever come either). On the other hand, there is this party, that used to think that computers would take away jobs. How can they take the country forward?”
On the request of Sonia Gandhi, Mulayam Singh Yadav had given electricity to both Rae Bareli and Amethi, but it was taken away after some leaders in the opposition objected, she said. “Now their candidate sitting in a dark room says that there is no electricity in Rahul’s Amethi. You are intelligent enough to understand this drama. I ask you to vote after giving a thought to these significant issues.”
Priyanka addressed a series of public meetings through the day, ending with a padyatra and public meeting in the Naseerabad area of Salon assembly segment. ENS