Constitution is under threat from the BJP-led government, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said on Sunday in Assam’s Silchar, her first stop on the campaign leg outside Uttar Pradesh.
Priyanka Gandhi said the BJP government had “bad policies and bad intentions”. Silchar will vote in second phase of the Lok Sabha polls on April 18.
“…Today you see how the Constitution is not being protected, the efforts are on to destroy it,” she said invoking BR Ambedkar on his birth anniversary at the end of her 10-minute address after a roadshow in Silchar.
“There is a BJP manifesto, which has no place for different cultures, religions, way of life, no respect for Constitution. On the other hand, the Congress manifesto has this scheme which says Rs 72,000 per year to every poor family… every bit of it is respectful of the Constitution,” Priyanka Gandhi said.
The Congress general secretary arrived in Silchar in Cachar district on Sunday to campaign for Sushmita Dev, the president of All India Mahila Congress and the sitting MP from the Bengali speaking constituency in southern Assam which is also the epicenter of the demand for Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. Dev is battling both anti-incumbency and likely fallout of Congress’ opposition to the Citizenship Bill.
Priyanka Gandhi also stopped by at Kachakanti Bari, a temple, to pray on her way from the airport to the city. Barak Valley will celebrate Bengali new year on Monday.
She later took part in the roadshow in an open truck flanked by Dev and Congress in-charge of Assam Harish Rawat, with an impressive crowd in tow despite the blazing sun.
Attacking the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she said the BJP’s campaign is different from the reality. She said the BJP took away the special status that the Congress government had given to northeast.
“Various campaigns are going on. Their campaign is so good that you see him when you switch on the TV, you see him when you open the newspaper, you open a tiffin in the train, you see his face on it. The other day I saw when people were going to vote, the food packets too had his photo,” she said as the crowd cheered.
Priyanka said during her two months of campaign in UP, she found how “youth are unemployed, farmers are sad, so exploited that they have to be awake all night for the cattle are eating the produce. The women are not secure.”
She alleged that the prime minister even neglected his own constituency Varanasi. “He did not get the time to go to his own constituency, but he went to America and hugged, went to China and hugged, went to Russia and hugged, went to Japan and played the drums, went to Pakistan and ate biryani, but did not go even once to any village to ask the wellbeing of a family in his own constituency,” Priyanka said.
Priyanka said that the BJP’s campaign and the reality is different as she sought votes for Sushmita Dev whom she compared to her grandmother and former prime minister Indira Gandhi.
She stayed away from the contentious Citizenship Bill issue though.
“How would she speak on it here. They would lose votes,” said Dilip Paul, the BJP MLA from Silchar. “It is the Congress which has destroyed this country. It does not look nice for her to speak so big when members of her family are out on bail,” he said. “Our government is protector of the Constitution. Prime Minister Modi ran the government on Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas,” he said.
First Published: Apr 14, 2019 18:27 IST