Raebareli: Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday said the BJP has forgotten its ‘raj dharma’ of serving the common people and is only working for big businesses.
Addressing a poll rally in the Jagatpur area of Raebareli, she also hit out at the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh, accusing it of stoking religious sentiments to divert people’s attention from issues such as unemployment and those related to farmers.
The Congress leader also trained her guns at the Samajwadi Party (SP), saying Akhilesh Yadav, who was nowhere to be seen, has now come out to seek votes.
“BJP leaders have forgotten their religion of serving the people. Religion for them has become means to instigate people to get votes. The government is not following ‘raj dharma’ of serving the people,” Priyanka Gandhi said as she addressed the rally ahead of the fourth of the seven-phase assembly polls in the state to be held on February 23.
Talking about inflation, she said the prices of gas cylinders and mustard oil have gone up. “You earn Rs 200 daily and a bottle of mustard oil is of Rs 240,” the leader said.
She also spoke of unemployment among youths and the plight of farmers in the state and accused the government of stoking religious sentiments to divert people’s attention from these issues.
People must watch out for those who use “religion and caste” to get votes, Priyanka Gandhi said.
Alleging unnecessary expenditure by the Centre, overlooking the money it owed to farmers, she said, “The due amount of sugarcane farmers is Rs 14,000 crore but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has bought two aeroplanes worth Rs 16,000 crore for himself. He is visiting the world in them but not paying the dues of the farmers.”
“The Congress government had waived loans of farmers but these days, loans of big businessmen are being waived,” Priyanka Gandhi said.
She claimed that people are forced to pay electricity bills in every situation even if they are not getting electricity.
The Congress leader said, “The three major schemes of the BJP are free cylinder, free ration, and some money you get in your bank accounts.”
“Can the future of your children be strengthened only by a free gas cylinder, free ration, and some money? The government must provide jobs and support businesses, something that is not being done,” she said.
Bringing up the last year Lakhimpur Kheri violence, she said Modi did not bother to meet victims of the incident and came up with an apology to protesting farmers only when elections were round the corner.
In the incident, four farmers died after being allegedly hit by vehicles driven by BJP workers. In the ensuing violence, a journalist, two BJP workers, and a driver were killed.
“The prime minister visited so many countries in the past few years, including Pakistan, but did not go to meet protesting farmers. The prime minister came and apologized for the farm laws just before elections, she said.
Why did he wait for a year to do it when during the protests “700 farmers died”, Priyanka Gandhi said, referring to the over a year-long agitation by farmers on Delhi’s borders against three central farm laws, which have been repealed.
Attacking Yadav, she said she never saw him working for the people in her three years of work in Uttar Pradesh.
“I have been actively working in UP for the last three years but never saw Akhilesh Yadav leave his house. Just before elections, he has come out on his bus to seek votes. In the last three years, Akhilesh Yadav and (Bahujan Samaj Party supremo) Mayawati were nowhere to be seen,” the Congress leader said.
In a public meeting in Unchahar, she said that the BJP is working on a model where rich businessmen profit from the hard work of the common man.
“BJP has done nothing to resolve the issue of stray cattle. In government cow shelters in Uttar Pradesh, the animals are starving and are being buried alive. Our government will buy cow dung of stray cattle adopted by people under a model which is being implemented in Chhattisgarh,” she said.
The Congress is the only party that works for the upliftment and development of the poor in society, while other parties in Uttar Pradesh only do politics of religion or caste, Priyanka Gandhi said.