Priyanka Gandhi says Modi treating voters like schoolchildren

NEW DELHI (TIP): Priyanka Gandhi Vadra of the Congress party on April 25 raised the pitch against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, accusing him of treating Indian voters like primary schoolchildren. “People understand everything,” said Gandhi Vadra, who is in Raebareli to campaign for her mother Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

“You are seeing all kinds of campaigns. You hear a lot of terms, like ABCD, RSVP and ka se kawa, etc. But you (Modi) are not teaching in a primary school—you are addressing the people in this nation,” she said. Modi, in his election speeches, has said that the ruling party had changed the nomenclature of the English alphabet, mentioning three alleged corruption scandals involving the Congress as A for the Adarsh housing scam in Mumbai, B for the 1980s Bofors gun scandal, and C for coal block allocation irregularities.

He has also referred to the Gandhi family as RSVP—Rahul Gandhi, Sonia, Vadra (Priyanka’s husband Robert Vadra) and Priyanka. Vadra, a businessman, has been accused of taking advantage of his political connections to strike lucrative land deals in Haryana and Rajasthan. In her speech on Friday, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also questioned the Gujarat model of development that is touted by Modi as a replicable blueprint for all of India. “If you want to convince people then tell them what you have done for farmers under the Gujarat model. Tell them what have you done for the women and why the labourers still do not get good wages there.

“Tell people what you plan to do and how you will achieve that,” the Gandhi scion said. Although confining herself to campaigning in Raebareli and Amethi, the constituencies of her mother and brother Rahul respectively, Gandhi Vadra has been increasingly attacking Modi in her addresses.On Wednesday, she shifted from defending her husband to directly targeting Modi over allegations that he ordered the illegal surveillance of a woman in Gujarat.Political observers say Gandhi Vadra is seeking centre-stage in the Congress party’s campaign, which according to some experts has been failed to pack a punch. On Wednesday, she sought to corner Modi on “snoopgate”—claims that the Gujarat chief minister instructed his aide Amit Shah to monitor the movements and tap the phone of a young woman in 2009.

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