Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra concluded her three-day boat ride on the river Ganga at Assi Ghat in Varanasi on Wednesday afternoon. Varanasi, which was the last leg in Priyanka’s three-day UP tour, is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency.
Immediately thereafter, Priyanka countered PM Modi’s charge that institutions of the country have been the biggest casualty under the Congress regime.
“BJP has systematically attacked every institution in last 5 years including the media. PM should stop thinking people are fools and understand that they see through this,” Priyanka told reporters.
The 47-year-old Priyanka alleged that “those obsessed with power” believe they can bully critics into silence.
“When power goes to their head, they have two misconceptions. One, that it is easy to mislead people. Two, that those who speak against them are afraid. We are not afraid, no matter what they do. They can harass us as much as they want to, we will keep fighting,” said Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
Earlier today, the PM had in a blog accused the Congress of not sparing a single institution during its long period of rule.
“The biggest casualty of dynastic politics are institutions. From the press to Parliament. From soldiers to free speech. From the Constitution to the courts. Nothing is spared,” he wrote.
“When a Government works with the spirit of ‘India First’ instead of ‘Family First’, it shows in its working,” the PM wrote taking a jibe at the Gandhi family.
He also invoked the declaration of Emergency by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi stating that the “setting sun of 25 June 1975 took with it the democratic ethos of India”.
In his hard-hitting write-up, the PM slammed the Congress for questioning the valour of the armed forces especially after the 2016 Surgical Strikes as the recent airstrikes on terrorist camps across the LoC.
Meanwhile, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra offered prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath temple at Varanasi. She is expected to offer prayers at Sheetla Mandir and interact with women groups.
Priyanka, the in-charge of the Congress campaign in UP East, also paid tributes to a bust of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in Ramnagar.
Reports say that she will play Holi with Congress workers at the Congress office in Varanasi.
On Tuesday, on the second day of her tour, Priyanka had targeted the BJP government in the state for failing to alleviate the problems of farmers, students and the youth.
Commenting on the completion of two years of the government led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in the state, Priyanka said, “Report card, promotions, all of it sounds good but there’s nothing on ground. I’m meeting people every day and all the people are in distress. Be it farmers, youth, students, Anganwadi workers, Shiksha Mitr – everyone is facing problems.”
“It was also announced in some places that they will get Rs 17,000 as salaries. But they have been getting only Rs 8,000 for the last two years,” she told the media in Bhadohi.
The Congress leader embarked on her river campaign on Monday from Prayagraj’s Sangam. She covered the 140-km stretch between Prayagraj to Varanasi on a boat, making brief stops along the way.
Before kick-starting her unique campaign tour, Priyanka also offered prayers at the Sangam and the Bade Hanuman temple in Prayagraj, the historic city known for its close association with the Nehru-Gandhi family.