Priyanka Gandhi 'non-serious, tourist' politician, says Piyush Goyal

The Union Minister claimed that the "personal ambition of an individual prevailed over the will of the people of India" post-Independence.
 Union Minister Piyush Goyal (R), Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (L).
Union Minister Piyush Goyal (R), Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (L).

MUMBAI: Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday described Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as a "non-serious" and "tourist" politician who disappear after elections and cannot understand the real India.

Goyal also said that he respected the role of the Nehru-Gandhi family in the freedom struggle and claimed that the "personal ambition of an individual prevailed over the will of the people of India" post-Independence.

"I don't think so. These are non-serious politicians. They don't seem to connect with the real India. They live in an utopian world. Occasionally, they come out into the field during elections and disappear after that," Goyal said in response to a question by PTI during his campaign trail in Mumbai on whether Priyanka Gandhi would emerge as a formidable politician in the future.

"They can't really serve the people, understand the real India as a tourist politician."

Asked whether Priyanka's statements on martyrdom experienced by the Nehru-Gandhi family will resonate with the people, the senior BJP leader said the Congress, after Independence, preferred to encash the work of many freedom fighters for an individual family.

 Union Minister Piyush Goyal (R), Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (L).
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"Well, we respect the fact that their family has played a role in India's Independence struggle, but we should not forget the fact that Sardar Patel was chosen to lead the Congress by almost everybody in the Congress at that time.

But, it was the personal ambition of an individual that prevailed over the will of the people of India," Goyal said in an apparent reference to the country's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

In an emotional speech during the Congress campaign in Madhya Pradesh early this month, Priyanka had asserted that her father Rajiv Gandhi had inherited "martyrdom" from his mother and not wealth and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will never understand the sacrifices made by her family.

Priyanka's remarks came after Modi alleged that Rajiv Gandhi abolished inheritance tax in 1985 after coming to power so that the wealth he had inherited from his mother and former prime minister Indira Gandhi would not be taxed.

 Union Minister Piyush Goyal (R), Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (L).
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Goyal, who is contesting from Mumbai North, also referred to Mahatma Gandhi's advice on disbanding the Congress after Independence and forming a new political party.

"Despite Mahatma Gandhiji's advice that the purpose of Congress to get Independence is over and now there should be a new political party they preferred to encash the work that was done by so many freedom fighters.

But, the encashment was not for a party but an individual family," the Union Commerce Minister said.

He said over the past 75-77 years, the Congress has institutionalised that everything in the party will be for one family.

Goyal also claimed that the deputy leader of Congress in the Rajya Sabha had even demanded a separate law for the Gandhi family after Rahul Gandhi's disqualification from the Lok Sabha following his conviction and sentencing in a criminal defamation case.

"A separate law for one family in the country and then he (Pramod Tiwari) goes on to make it even worse saying in convicting it may not be required, but in sentencing there should be a separate law," he said.

"No matter how many crimes you commit, you will not be sentenced because you are from the Gandhi-Nehru family," the BJP leader said.

"This is the kind of politics that Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi represent.

I think the people of India will make sure that Mahatma Gandhi's desire that the Congress should wind up will be fulfilled by the Gandhi family today," he added.

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