BJP scrambling like panic-stricken rats: Priyanka Gandhi – Times of India

RAE BARELI: Priyanka Vadra on Sunday once again eclipsed brother Rahul Gandhi in leading the Congress charge against BJP and Narendra Modi, saying the opposition party was scrambling like “panic-stricken rats”. She also told the BJP’s PM nominee that one did not need a 56-inch chest to run the country but a big heart and compassion.

Sporadic interventions by other leaders notwithstanding, Priyanka has been leading the line ever since she started campaigning in the family boroughs of Amethi and Rae Bareli, repeatedly taking on the BJP. In the last leg of the poll campaign, the war-of-words has turned into a Priyanka versus Modi affair as her speeches are aimed at launching a counter-offensive against BJP’s PM candidate.

Priyanka has been playing a force multiplier for Rahul and Sonia but the attention she is getting from TV channels is another indication that she can put her brother and even her mother in the shade.

At a time she was supposed to limit herself only to family constituencies, Priyanka’s terse comments targeting Modi is resonating across the country and there is a feeling that the impact would have been much more if she was set free.

However, Congress leaders are adamant that restricting herself to Amethi and Rae Bareli was Priyanka’s decision.

Taking a dig at Modi, she said, “It takes a big heart and compassion, not a 56-inch chest, to run India. It doesn’t take brute force to run this country, it takes internal and moral strength, even a determination to lay one’s life for the unity of the country.”

Reacting to Priyanka’s remarks, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said, “Calling BJP rats is abusive politics. They have taken democratic discourse to such a low and they have now distorted democracy and hurt democracy.”

Another BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said Priyanka was Congress’s only hope but they had wasted her by wheeling her out at a time when they were destined to lose.

At a rally in Gorakhpur, Modi had said it took a 56-inch chest – like his – to convert UP into Gujarat. The swipe, largely aimed at Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, was picked up by Priyanka on Sunday and used to Congress’s advantage. Referring to the use of brute force, Priyanka also made a quiet, but arched reference to the 2002 Godhra riots.

Priyanka called India a country of Mahatma Gandhi, where tribals and dalits had also laid their lives for the nation’s unity. She said it was this culture of unity that she had inherited. “This is the blood that flows through my veins,” she said. Repeatedly telling people, as she has over her campaign trails, to protect and preserve the culture of unity in India, Priyanka warned people of the divisive forces at work, out to spread hate and divide people on the lines of caste, religion and community.

She said, “Vote for development, but also think about strengthening this country. Don’t limit your vision, think of your sisters, the youth. What kind of country do you want? This is a country that believes in mutual coexistence, it needs a government that will keep them together.”

Building the momentum of the electoral campaign ahead of April 30 polls in Sonia’s constituency, Priyanka urged people to vote for the Congress. Telling people about the drastic improvements that Sonia had brought to Rae Bareli, Priyanka said, “People have the power to lead political parties on the right path. Rahul and Sonia’s politics is about empowering your hands. Everyone in my family, from Jawaharlal Nehru downwards, knew we are nothing without the support of the people. You make us. You matter. Nothing else is of any consequence.”

BJP scrambling like panic-stricken rats: Priyanka Gandhi – Times of India
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