Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra slammed the BJP on Saturday for turning patriotism into an election issue and ignoring the poor and farmers, saying had the ruling party leaders been patriots they would not have been “selective” in respecting martyrs.
Addressing a ‘nukkad sabha’ in favour of Congress nominee Rakesh Sachan in Fatehpur, the Congress general secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh said, “The issue of patriotism is raised whenever elections come, but the real questions on farmers, unemployed, women safety are left behind.”
“Sabse badi deshbhakti jagrukta hai, jagruk raho. yeh BJP ke jo neta hain jo bahut badi badi batein karte hain, agar itne bade deshbhakta hote to shaheedon ka aadar karte.. Chahe wo shaheed hindu hota, chahe who Musalman hota, ya wo kisi vipakshi dal ke neta ka beta hota (The biggest patriotism is being aware, so be aware. These BJP leaders, who talk big, if they were such big patriots, they would have respected all the martyrs, be it Hindu or Muslim or even son of some opposition leader).”
“Shaheed to hai, gin chun kar aadar nahi ho sakta shaheedon ka.. Agar deshbhakta ho to sab shaheedon ka aadar karo… Rajiv Gandhi ka bhi aadar karo, Indira Gandhi ka bhi aadar karo (One cannot pick and choose to respect a martyr. If you are a patriot, then respect all martyrs… respect both Rajiv Gandhi and Indira Gandhi).”
Attacking the ruling party, she said, “BJP leaders make tall claims. Karne ki neeyat nahi hai, bolne ki neeyat hai, prachar karne ki neeyat hai (They do not have intention to work, but only intention to talk and campaign).”
Priyanka told the gathering that when she visited Varanasi, parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she realised that while Modi has time to visit America, China, Japan and even Pakistan, he does not have time to visit families of the poor in his own constituency.
“Pradhan Mantri ji ke paas America jaane ka samay tha, China jaane ka samay tha, Japan jaane ka samay tha.. Pakistan ja ke biryani khane ka samay tha. Lekin apne chhetra mein ek gareeb pariwar ke paas jane ka samay nahi tha,” she said.
Alleging that farmers have got a raw deal in the BJP government, she said thousands had marched to Delhi for loan waiver but were “sent back”. “Where was your (BJP’s) patriotism? You slammed the doors when farmers needed you,” she said.
On the problem of unemployment, she said she has been meeting the jobless all over the country, and asked why the promises made to citizens of the country remain unfulfilled.
Priyanka said that public even corrected Congressmen when they lose path, so, now the public should be able to identify people, who want to weaken the democracy and gather all the power in their own hands.
Stressing that the Congress keeps its promises, she said party president Rahul Gandhi contacted former finance ministers to enquire how much can be given to the poor without harming the economy and this led to the concept of Nyay scheme, under which it has promised to give Rs 72,000 to 20 per cent poor families in the country. There is a difference between Congress’s Nyay scheme and Rs 15-lakh promise of the BJP, she said.
(With PTI inputs)