Kanpur, April 19 (IANS) Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Friday accused the Narendra Modi government of politicising the Armed Forces by calling the one rank one pension (OROP) a favour to them.
The Congress General Secretary was holding a roadshow while campaigning for his party’s Kanpur candidate Sriprakash Jaiswal here. She kicked off her roadshow from Ghantaghar area and concluded it at Bada Chauraha after covering a distance of five kms.
Addressing party supporters at the Phoolbagh crossing, she said, “When I was coming here from the airport, there were lots of posters and hoardings along the way. One of the hoardings that read ‘Sena ko OROP ka uphaar’ (OROP gift to the armed forces) got me thinking.
“Is the OROP really a gift and favour to the Armed Forces or is it their right? The right of the Armed Forces is being publicised as a favour by the government. What is this mentality and who will change it?” she asked the crowd.
She also targeted the Modi government over demonetisation. “They turned it into a mission of patriotism by telling you that it (demonetisation) will bring back black money. You all were made to stand in queues for the country. But the black money did not come back. On the contrary, a few industrialists benefitted from it,” she alleged.
The Congress leader also attacked the government for a flawed implementation of the goods and the services tax (GST), which she said had killed thousands of small businesses.
She urged the crowd raising slogans like “Priyanka nahi ye aandhi hai, doosri Indira Gandhi hai” to not compare her with her grandmother. “Please don’t humiliate me. I am nothing in front of her. You all know that… she made a sacrifice for the country.”
She added that she shared her grandmother’s will to serve the people. “Whether you give us a chance or not, we will keep serving you all,” she said.
Comparing her brother and Congress President Rahul Gandhi to Modi, Priyanka said, “One (Modi) does not have the strength to endure, while the other who is abused daily endures everything and keeps on smiling. This is called political will and confidence.”
Earlier arriving at the Fursatganj Airport in Rae Bareli, her mother and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s parliamentary constituency in the morning, Priyanka travelled to Gauriganj by road for a meeting with her party workers as well as senior leaders of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) to discuss poll preparedness in the district.
A senior Congress leader told IANS: “BSP district chief Dilip Kumar and JAP district chief Vipin Kumar attended the five-hour long meeting and assured her all help in Amethi, where Rahul Gandhi is facing a stiff challenge from BJP’s Smriti Irani.”
Asked about the absence of Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders from the meeting, the Congress leader said that they will organise a meeting with Priyanka, the Congress in-charge for eastern Uttar Pradesh, on their own.
The BSP-SP-RLD alliance has not put up any candidate in the Amethi and Rae Bareli seats.