LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar on Sunday claimed that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's point of view on various issues is now "resonating" with the public and that if BJP leaders are "afraid" of anyone, it is the Congress general secretary.
He also said that the Congress general secretary is looking towards the people at the grassroots level, and not at leaders and office-bearers of the party, which is a "good sign".
"If BJP leaders are feeling afraid of anyone, it is Priyanka Gandhi, as they are unable to give any answer to points raised by her. And, they (BJP) find her points and concern only confined to Twitter, while the reality is that her points have started assimilating in the hearts of people," Babbar told PTI in an interview.
"In fact, Priyankaji's points are now resonating with the public, which the BJP is unable to see or read.
They are intentionally keeping their eyes closed as they are under deep influence of power," he said.
When asked whether the state unit is looking towards her especially after the drubbing of the Congress in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Babbar said, "It is not about looking towards her. Everyone has reposed faith in her, as she has taken full-fledged responsibility."
Referring to bypolls in the state, the UP Congress chief said, "If there is any party, which can honestly give a fight to the BJP, it is the Congress. Rest are feeling afraid. The Congress is fighting with full seriousness, and people who have ears to the ground (zameen ke log) have gradually started associating themselves with the Congress. This is a good sign."
Asked about issues on which the party will be contesting the upcoming bypolls in the state, Babbar said, "Our poll issues will be lies propagated by both the Centre and state government, the poor law and order situation in the state, a feeling of insecurity among women and crimes unleashed on innocent children. People are not mad, they are seeing it."
The bypoll to the Hamirpur Assembly constituency in Uttar Pradesh on September 23 is witnessing a four-cornered contest, with the BJP, BSP, Samajwadi Party and the Congress fielding their candidates for the election.
The by-election, the first to be held after Lok Sabha polls, has been necessitated due to disqualification of sitting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Ashok Kumar Singh Chandel following his conviction in a murder case.
Nine candidates are in the fray and prominent among them are Yuwraj Singh (BJP), Hardeepak Nishad (Congress), Manoj Kumar Prajapati (SP), Naushad Ali (BSP) and Jamal Alam Mansoori (Communist Party of India).
Taking a jibe at UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his ministerial colleagues for participating in the Manthan-2 at Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow, Babbar said, "Gaining knowledge at any age is good.
However, fate of the people in the state is hanging in balance with 'ardh-gyaani' (semi-knowledgeable) mantrimandal (Council of Ministers)".
"They should had come out after learning (lessons) along with the certificate. Studies are not done by joining classes. The result of studies are realised by emerging meritorious in the examinations. First they should had brought the results (of their lessons learnt), and then they should had run the state (Pehle parinaam le aate phir pradesh ko chalaate)," he said.
On Sunday last, while participating in Manthan-2 Adityanath had said, "UP government has started a special programme of Manthan in association with IIM-Lucknow. In the first phase, all my ministerial colleagues sat together to prepare a roadmap for good governance and development of UP."
"The discussions were very fruitful, and taking this forward, today's sitting consists of ministers, senior government officials including the chief secretary, additional chief secretaries, principal secretaries and HoDs," he added.