Fatehpur: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra slammed the BJP on Saturday for turning patriotism into an election issue and ignoring the poor and farmers, saying had the ruling party leaders been patriots they would not have been “selective” in respecting martyrs.
Addressing a ‘nukkad sabha’ in favour of Congress nominee Rakesh Sachan, the Congress general secretary incharge of eastern Uttar Pradesh said, “The issue of patriotism is raised whenever elections come, but the real questions on farmers, unemployed, women safety are left behind.”
On a day-long visit to the constituency, during which she held a roadshow clad in a red cotton sari, Ms Priyanka cited the examples of demonetisation and BJP’s promise to bring back black money to say that “big announcements (by this government) are often linked to patriotism.”
The government has said high-value banknotes were demonetised suddenly in Nov 2016 in “national interest” and to curb black money circulation. “During demonetisation, people were asked to stand in queues stating it was patriotism as this will bring back black money. Was it brought back? Not a single paisa came back. But people were harass-ed,” Ms Gandhi said.
“Is there anyone who is not a patriot?” “All are patriots. The biggest patriotism is having faith in democracy and using right to vote judiciously as a weapon. Remaining aware and vigilant is biggest patriotism,” she stressed.
The Congress leader, who arrived to a rousing reception at the Kanpur airport earlier in the day and reached here by road, said, “You all know how leaders like us are... Make them stand on the dais and they will forget that it was you who gave them power.”
Attacking the ruling party, she said, “BJP makes tall claims. Had they been such big patriots they would have respe-cted the martyrs — whe-ther Hindus or Muslims or father of the Opposition party leader. You cannot be selective in this. So, respect Rajiv Gandhi, Indira Gandhi. If you are really patriots.”
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