Updated: December 11, 2021 8:22:15 am
AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra told villagers in South Goa Friday why they must choose the Congress over ‘new parties’ that had arrived in Goa. While telling them to ask what the AAP had done in Delhi, she steered clear of mentioning the Trinamool Congress (TMC) that is also set to contest the Assembly polls in the coastal state.
Addressing women from in the Morpirla village in Quepem taluka, Priyanka said, “There are many parties coming from outside this time…What have they done in their states? …I am from Delhi. The AAP is from Delhi. Delhi is so polluted, you can’t even breathe. The development you need here has to be done while protecting your environment…You have to think which party will work for you, where will you be heard. And that’s only one party. The Congress Party.”
Later, addressing a women’s convention in Margao, Priyanka attacked the BJP and said, “You saw the last election. You backed the Congress but every rule of democracy was broken and your government was stolen from you…They don’t talk about creating jobs, strengthening women, about your future, your environment. They talk about religion to make you emotional, and based on emotion you vote. Your future is in your hands,” she said.
She referred to former Prime Minister and her grandmother, Indira Gandhi, who gave Goa the referendum that led to an independent state. “It is when you decided that you wanted to be a separate state that Goa became a separate state,” she said. Senior Congress leaders also referred to former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, her great grandfather, who gave Goa its liberation and Rajiv Gandhi, her father, who brought statehood to Goa and the official language status for Konkani.
Priyanka said, “What you are fighting for and the Congress in Goa is fighting for is Goa itself….decisions this government has taken have hurt the heart of Goa. We are talking about cutting thousands of trees, double tracking railway tracks that go through your forest sanctuaries, we are talking about nationalising rivers. Rivers that belong to states, that feed states and are the lifeline of those states. What this government is telling us every day is that it has no respect for the people of India, for the people of Goa or for this beautiful land, for its forests, its rivers and the ocean.”
Meanwhile, the Congress saw a slew of resignations from supporters of Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte who had joined the party on November 9. Khaunte was expected to follow suit and join the party eventually. Khaunte said his supporters had felt humiliated in the past month since they joined the Congress. “I told them that the way Congress is functioning, I don’t think they are anywhere close to winning the election or getting into the election mode. There are only about 40 days left. The TMC, AAP are all doing their part but nothing is happening in Congress,” said the former minister. He also made it clear that he would contest the poll as an Independent again.
South Goa leader Moreno Rebelo also resigned from the post of secretary of the Pradesh Congress Committee. His resignation stated that he did not “see any future” in the party. He was inducted into the BJP on Friday evening in the presence of Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and BJP state president Sadanand Tanavade.
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