Chitrakoot, Madhya Pradesh:
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday lashed out at the ruling BJP while campaigning for the Madhya Pradesh assembly polls, reminding voters of Ramayana’s tradition of “victory of truth and defeat of untruth”.
Addressing an election rally in Chitrakoot assembly constituency in Satna district, she said people should reduce their “reverence” towards leaders who lure them into seeking votes in the name of religion during elections.
There is a mythological belief about Chitrakoot that it was the place of penance of Lord Rama.
Priyanka Gandhi said that even during the time of Lord Ram, there was a tradition of “victory of truth and defeat of untruth” and it has been followed in the country since the Ramayana period that people revere the ruler who works for them with a sense of compassion and service.
She urged voters not to break the tradition.
“On TV, you watch that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan have done a lot of work for the progress of the country and the state, but is this progress reflected on the ground? “When you see that you are plagued by problems and there is no hearing, reduce your respect for leaders who lure you and ask you for votes in the name of religion,” said Priyanka Gandhi.
She said that Mahatma Gandhi, who lived his entire life on the principles of Ramayana, had taught those principles to the Congress and when he was shot, he uttered “Hey Ram” before his death.
Lashing out at the ruling BJP over the disinvestment of big state-run companies, the Congress general secretary said, “I don’t care if someone calls themselves ‘Mama’ and ‘Fakir’. When you can give big government companies of the country to your industrialist friends at throwaway prices, then you are simply corrupt.”
She added, “Whatever you call yourself, there is no bigger corruption and betrayal than that you handed over the wealth of this country to a select few.”
Priyanka Gandhi alleged that the ruling BJP was shying away from conducting caste census as it did not want the welfare of the people.
It has been set in their (BJP’s) minds that since they have been running the governments at the Centre for 10 years and in Madhya Pradesh for 18 years, there is no need for them to work, she said.
“They feel that they will make big announcements at the time of elections and get votes on the basis of raising the emotions of the people through talks of religion and caste,” she said.
Priyanka Gandhi said farmers were protesting against the three (now-scrapped) farm laws just three kilometres from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence, but he did not “bother” to talk to them.
The Congress leader said she had seen her father Rajiv Gandhi being scolded by the women of Amethi (his constituency) even when he was the prime minister when roads and other problems were not resolved.
“My grandmother Indira Gandhi was also the prime minister and she too used to bow her head in front of the public and people used to demand answers from her,” she said.
The Congress leader said, “… Then people did not make any leader god and today the situation is that you have made leaders gods and you do not ask them for answers to your problems.”
Hitting out at Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, popularly known as ‘Mama’ (maternal uncle), she said that he used to say “don’t worry, I am your Mama“.
The Congress general secretary said, “Relationships need to be maintained. Otherwise, Kansa (maternal uncle of Lord Krishna) was also mama.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)