In a sharp attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Uttar Pradesh, Congress general secretary for UP East Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday said that people in the state are in distress but the ruling government is doing nothing to alleviate their problems.

In Bhadohi on the second day of her three-day boat ride on the Ganga, Priyanka met the communities living along the banks of the river as well as the city in an attempt to connect with the masses ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

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 added.

Priyanka also took a jibe at the saffron party over the latter’s accusation that it is the Congress whose long period of rule since Independence created the problems India is facing today.

“The argument of ‘What did they do in 70 years?’ also has an expiry date. Now they (BJP) should tell what they have done in their five years when they are in power,” the 47-year-old Priyanka said while speaking to reporters in this eastern district of the state which is known for its carpet-making industry.

She expressed confidence that the people of the country will vote out the Narendra Modi government in 2019.

In Bhadohi, Priyanka also offered prayers at Sita Samahit Sthal Bhadohi.

The Congress leader embarked on her river campaign on Monday from Prayagraj’s Sangam. She will cover the 140-km stretch between Prayagraj to Varanasi on the boat, while making brief stops along the way. The outreach campaign will culminate at Assi Ghat in Varanasi on Wednesday.

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.

Priyanka was appointed the eastern in-charge of Uttar Pradesh on 23 January by her brother, party chief Rahul Gandhi. Since the first week of February, when she took charge, Priyanka has been holding meetings with party workers and trying to establish a close connect with the masses in a bid to change the fortunes of the grand old party in this politically significant region.

Uttar Pradesh votes in all seven phases of the Lok Sabha elections between 11 April and 19 May.