Priyanka Gandhi at Varanasi roadshow
In a big show of strength in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra held a roadshow in Varanasi on Wednesday.
Accompanied by Congress candidate for the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat against Modi, Priyanka Gandhi began by garlanding the statue of Madan Mohan Malviya at the gates of the Banaras Hindu University.
Priyanka Gandhi and other leaders, including Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, waved at the large crowd as the procession wound its way through Varanasi's roads.
Congress workers raised anti-Modi slogans along the route.
The Congress show of strength in the temple town comes nearly three weeks after Modi held his own roadshow here, a day before filing his nomination papers.
Like Modi's roadshow, Priyanka Gandhi's event also ended at the Dashashwamedh Ghat. She then offered prayers, first at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and then at the Kaal Bhairav Temple in Kotwali area.
Earlier in the day, Priyanka, addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Deoria, said hit out at the Modi dispensation, saying it is not a 'mazboot' government but a 'magroor' one that harbours an "oppressive" mindset.
She alleged that people fighting for their rights were put behind bars on charges of being anti-national and were subjected to atrocities.
She drew a quick comparison between the work done in Amethi by her father and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and that by Modi in his Varanasi constituency.
"PM Modi has lost his connect with people. He has a 56-inch chest then why the condition of farmers in the country is pathetic. You might have seen him in China, Japan and in Pakistan enjoying Biryani but have you ever seen him visiting a poor man's house when he is in problem?" the Congress general secretary said.
"Modi government is not 'mazboot' (strong) but a 'magroor' (arrogant) one. The mindset of the government is oppressive. The examples of their arrogance are there in speeches given by its leaders every day. Under democracy, the actual power is in the hands of the people but the Modi government has kept it in its hands," she alleged.
Later, addressing a rally in Rae Bareli, she termed the alleged attack on constituency MLA Aditi Singh as assault on democracy while a party delegation met Governor Ram Naik, demanding a judicial probe.
The Congress has alleged that the MLA was on her way to oversee the voting for a no-confidence motion against zila panchayat chairman Avadhesh Pratap Singh, who is the brother of BJP's Lok Sabha candidate Dinesh Singh.
"This is an attack on democracy. Nothing of this sort has ever happened in Rae Bareli. Country-made weapons, bricks and lathis were used in the attack. Zila panchayat members were dragged from their vehicles," Priyanka Gandhi alleged.