Priyanka keeps up attack on Modi, questions the Gujarat model of development
New Delhi, April 25, 2014
Congress President Sonia Gandhi's daughter Priyanka Vadra kept up her attacks on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, accusing him of giving thousands of acres of land at throwaway prices to his friends in Gujarat and insulting the intelligence of voters by treating them like "primary school students".
Addressing election meetings in her mother's constituency of Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh in the campaign for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, Ms Vadra tore into the so-called "Gujarat model" of development being showcased by Mr Modi, who has been the Chief Minister of Gujarat since late 2001.
"The people know everything. They know about your Gujarat model of development, in which you have given away thousands of acres of land to your friends," she said, referring to the oft-repeated allegation that Mr Modi's government had sold land at very low rates to industrialists close to him, who then sold it to others at much higher prices.
"They also know about your clean politics, they saw your friends waving at the people standing next to you yesterday," she said, referring to some close aides of Mr Modi against whom cases are pending, without referring to him or his party by name.
She said Mr Modi shoud also tell the people about the plight of farmers and workers in his state and what he had done for women.
Ms Vadra, who manages the campaign for her mother in Rae Bareli and her brother and Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi in the nearby constitency of Amethi, has been regularly attacking Mr Modi for the past few days.
Three days ago, she spoke out strongly against him and the BJP for launching personal attacks on her family, especially her husband Robert Vadra. On the next day, she launched a broadside against him on the "Snoopgate" issue in Gujarat, in which a young woman visiting Ahmedabad in 2009 was put under physical and electronic surveillance at the behest of someone at the highest levels of Government.
Today, Ms Vadra sought to ridicule for his "RSVP" jibe against the Gandhi family. Seeking to counter the criticism of his Gujarat model of development, he said the Congress practised the "RSVP" model -- a reference to Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Robert Vadra and Priyanka Vadra, and to allegations that Mr Vadra had made windfall profits from land deals in recent years.
He has also talked about "A for Aadarsh, B for Bofors, C for Coalgate, D for Damaad (son-in-law)", referring to the various alleged scams during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's tenure.
"Kabhi ABCD, kabhi RSVP. Aur kabhi da se desh aur ka se kouva. Ba se band bhi to kariye," Ms Vadra said. "You are not addressing a primary school but the citizens of the country."
Ms Vadra said Mr Modi should remember that the people were intelligent and could easily discern facts. She said politicians should not insult the intelligence and the judgement of voters and take them for granted.
She said leaders who come to seek the votes of the people should address issues they are interested in, such as jobs, education, health and so on, and tell them what they proposed to do for them and how the planned to implement their promises.
Ms Vadra said the people must also demand answers to such questions from their leaders and hold them accountable.
She spoke about the steps her mother had taken for the betterment of people's lives in the constituency and said a vote for her would strengthen the Congress, which worked to preserve the unity, integrity and prosperity of the country and to preserve its composite culture.
She said the Congress believed in empowering the people through various rights, while the BJP was seeking to empower one individual who claimed to have all the answers and solutions to India's problems.
Ms Vadra said Congress leaders were aware that they drew their strength from the people, and were always respectful of them.