Priyanka Gandhi, Kerala CM lock horns in heated poll campaign exchange

The spirit of unity in the Opposition’s INDIA bloc evaporated as both sides refused to pull their punches for the second successive day.
Priyanka Gandhi campaigns for Shashi Tharoor in Thiruvananthapuram
Priyanka Gandhi campaigns for Shashi Tharoor in ThiruvananthapuramPTI

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM/PATHANAMTHITTA : Gloves were off between the ruling CPM alliance and the Congress leadership as senior party leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan traded charges during their Lok Sabha election campaigns.

The spirit of unity in the Opposition’s INDIA bloc evaporated as both sides refused to pull their punches for the second successive day. Priyanka alleged that Pinarayi was targeting her brother Rahul Gandhi but was silent on the BJP. She charged that Pinarayi was ‘compromised’ as he attacks only the Congress and Rahul.

Earlier in the day, Pinarayi had sought to put the Congress on the mat for for being silent on the Citizenship Amendment Act in its manifesto. “Going by the report (in this newspaper), there was mention of CAA in the first draft of the Congress manifesto. But later it was dropped. How could the Congress ignore such a crucial thing? Isn’t the Congress executing the Sangh Parivar agenda,” he asked.

He also raked up the allegedly shady DLF-Robert Vadra connection to question the Gandhi family’s probity.

Priyanka shot back, saying Pinarayi’s name had come up in various scams, including gold smuggling, but the Centre chose not to take any action against him. “Your CM is compromised. He only attacks Rahul Gandhi and the Congress and never speaks a word against the BJP,” she alleged during a public meeting while campaigning for UDF’s Pathanamthita candidate Anto Antony.

The state Congress leadership had recently alleged that there was some understanding between the BJP and the CPM. Rahul, too, had wondered why the BJP government was not taking action against Pinarayi though two chief ministers are in jail. Pinarayi shot back reminding Rahul that his grandmother (Indira Gandhi) had jailed him during Emergency.

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