Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra Friday dubbed Narendra Modi an “actor” and said Amitabh Bachchan would have been a better choice for the prime minister’s post. In another Bollywood reference, she likened Modi to Asrani’s character in Bachchan-starrer Sholay.
“Prime Minister Modi is not a leader, he is an actor. It would have been better if Amitabh Bachchan was made the prime minister,” she said at an election meeting at the end of her roadshow in Mirzapur.
In Gorakhpur, she asked the crowd, “Have you seen the ‘Sholay’ movie and Asrani’s role in it? He used to always say `angrezon ke zamane mein’ (in the time of the British).” “And in the same way Modi ji talks about Jawaharlal’s work, Indira Gandhi’s work and Rajiv Gandhi’s work. Why doesn’t he talk about his work in the last five years?” she said.
“The aim of the BJP is to grab power. Modi has been unable to fulfil the promises made during the last general election,” she said in Mirzapur. “The Congress on the contrary does not make false promises, but works in the interests of the farmers, the poor and the youngsters,” she added. At both events, she referred to the stray cattle menace in Uttar Pradesh.
“When stray animals come and destroy your crops, do the `chowkidars’ turn up? They do not come. They had claimed that demonetisation will bring back black money. Has black money come back? Nothing has come to the country except troubles,” she said.
“What kind of government is that which neither listens to the farmers, nor saves your farms from stray animals?” she said. She also claimed that there has been a loss of jobs during the Bharatiya Janata Party’s term, and accused the Modi government of weakening MGNREGA, the rural employment guarantee scheme launched by the previous Congress-led government. She halted her Mirzapur address during the ‘azaan’, resuming it after the call for prayers was over.
“The prime minister has been unable to present his account on development work done for the farmers, labourers and youngsters in the last five years,” she said.
The Congress leader accused the Modi government of weakening democratic institutions. The roadshow in support of the party’s Mirzapur candidate Laliteshpati Tripathi started from Dankeenganj and ended at Waasliganj, covering about two kilometres. The crowd chanted ‘Priyanka didi’ and showered flowers on her. The Congress leader waved back at the people. She also pulled a child on to her vehicle, and they covered some distance together.
The flags of Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party, whose leader Om Prakash Rajbhar is still a minister in the BJP-led government in Uttar Pradesh, were also seen at the rally. The SBSP, which won four seats in the 2017 assembly polls, has fielded its own candidates this time.
Apna Dal (Krishna Patel faction) workers also took part in the roadshow, waving their party flags.
Addressing another meeting after a roadshow in support of Kushinagar candidate R P N Singh, Priyanka Gandhi criticised the BJP of suppressing the voice of the people. She accused the BJP government of giving farmers money to big businessmen.
“Your insurance money is going into the pockets of big industrialists and insurance companies and when Rahul ji talks about waiving farmers’ loan they make fun of him,” she said. “Rahul ji showed how loans are waived in three days in Congress-led states,” she said.