MANANTHAVADY: Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, on a whirlwind election campaign for brother Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad on Saturday, mercilessly tore into the Modi government even as she tried to strike an emotional chord with the crowd that cheered her enthusiastically. Addressing an election rally in Mananthvady, she said the NDA Government betrayed the people who voted it to power and all that it did in the past five years was to divide the country. She was, however, soft on the Left, Rahul’s main adversary in Wayanad.
“Five years ago, a government came to power with a big majority. The people of our country placed their faith on the BJP government, but it betrayed them,” Priyanka said.
She lashed out at the NDA government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying there has never been a “weaker government” and “weaker Prime Minister”. “Sisters and brothers of Wayanad, I think you deserve better,” she said.
“This is my country, these hills are my country, the wheat fields in Uttar Pradesh are my country. Tamil Nadu is my country, Gujarat is my country, North East is my country. But all that the BJP has done in the past five years, is just to divide the nation,” she said.
“It (the BJP) promised farmers it would double their income. The BJP began to believe that power belongs with them and not with the people. The first indication of that was when its president said the promise of Rs 15 lakh was for the sake of election and it was a ‘jumla’ (gimmick),” she said.
Priyanka, who dedicated a major portion of her speech to praising her brother, said Rahul believes “with all his heart” in democracy and freedom of expression.
“I stand here on behalf of a man whom I’ve known from the day I was born. He will be your candidate in this election. Over the last 10 years, he has faced massive personal attacks from his opponents. They have sought to portray a character of his, which is very far from the truth,” she said.
Later, addressing a farmers’ conclave at Pulpally, she exhorted farmers to vote for a better future. “It is through he power of your vote that you can change your future. Your vote is your gift to very politician,” Priyanka said.
Priyanka sought to know whether suppressing the voice of those who criticise the government’s policies amounts to ationalism.She questioned the nationalism of those “who refused to listen to thousands of farmers who had marched barefoot to Delhi to highlight their problems.”
She said she wanted to know if attempts to destroy the Constitution and weaken institutions that protect the rights of people was nationalism. Referring to BJP leaders invoking Pakistan in their election speeches, Priyanka said they never speak of what they are going to do for the people of the country.