Durg: Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday said the people’s sentiments were being manipulated for political motives and they were being misled in the name of religion and caste to ensure that they did not ask “basic questions.”
Speaking at the ‘Mahila Samridhi Sammelan’ gathering organised by the Congress government at Bhilai in Chhattisgarh, she attacked the BJP-led Union government at the Centre for not talking about unemployment and price rise while the prime minister’s “industrialist friends are making Rs 1,600 crore per day”.
Chhattisgarh would be going to polls by the year-end.
The Congress leader recalled a childhood memory when she was accompanying her father and then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on a visit to his constituency. Rajiv Gandhi, who was driving the vehicle, got down to talk to people from time to time, Priyanka said.
“A woman started shouting at my father, complaining about the poor condition of the roads. My father answered her, and when I asked if he felt bad (because of the woman’s attitude), he said no. He said it was the woman’s duty to ask (questions), and his duty was to answer,” she said.
This was the politics of that era when even a prime minister felt directly answerable to the public, Gandhi added.
Forty years later, when she asked a woman in Uttar Pradesh whether she had a gas cylinder, the woman, who sold bangles for a living, told her that she had a cylinder but it was empty, the Congress leader said.
The woman also complained about the absence of water supply and electricity but asserted she would vote for the incumbent MLA, and then started talking about caste and religion, Gandhi said.
“The values in politics have changed. People’s sentiments are being used for political motives. People are being misled in the name of caste and religion as part of a political conspiracy so that they do not ask basic questions,” she said.
“Those who ask for votes in the name of religion and caste, ask them what they have done for you,” Gandhi said.
The G20 events were good as they enhanced the country’s pride, she said, but also questioned the expenditure on certain projects.
Claiming that Rs 27,000 crore were spent for Yashobhoomi (an international convention centre), Rs 20,000 crore for the new Parliament building and Rs 8,000 crore each for two aircraft, Gandhi said prime minister Narendra Modi does not tell us why the roads are in such a bad condition, why there is no employment and why there is price rise.
“He does not answer why farmers are earning Rs 27 per day while his industrialist friends are making Rs 1,600 crore per day,” the Congress leader added.
Hailing the Bhupesh Baghel government’s welfare schemes in Chhattisgarh, she said the values of the old era are still intact in the Congress and the party works for the welfare and interest of common people.
The state government’s efforts have brought some respite to the people of Chhattisgarh, but across the country inflation has become a burden for the common people, Gandhi said.
Farming has become a profitable occupation in Chhattisgarh and the number of people engaged in agricultural activities is growing, she said.
Through the Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana, farmers of Chhattisgarh are receiving the highest price for paddy in the country, Gandhi claimed, while appealing people to vote for the Congress for development and welfare.
Speaking on the occasion, chief minister Baghel announced the launching of the Chhattisgarh Mahtari Cultural Promotion Scheme (`Chhattisgarh Mahtari Sanskritik Sanvardhan Yojana’) aimed at promoting cultural and historical heritage and tourism.