Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, in Uttar Pradesh today for a farmers’ protest meeting, described Prime Minister Narendra Modi as arrogant and accused the government of blaming her party whenever it was cornered.
Speaking to NDTV, Priyanka Gandhi side-stepped a question on whether she was ready to be the Congress’s Chief Ministerial candidate in the Uttar Pradesh polls next year.
“My responsibility is to be with the people and raise their issues. It is my duty to raise my voice for people. I will not stand back, I will keep fighting. And I will never betray the people,” the 49-year-old Congress general secretary said.
Asked why she had called PM Modi “ahankari (arrogant)” and a coward, she said: “Absolutely I said he is. He has not spoken to lakhs of farmers. If he cannot do that, then that makes him arrogant, right? 215 farmers have died (during the protests) and the PM did not even express condolences.”
Ms Vadra denied the ruling BJP’s charge that the Congress was politicizing the farmer protests that started in November-end against three agricultural laws.
The government accuses the Congress of hypocrisy on the laws, which it says are meant to bring long overdue reforms in the sector and give farmers direct access to the markets.
“These people (BJP) believe they can say anything but no one can question them. When they are cornered and when the people reject their policies, then they blame the Congress. They run away from their own responsibility. And they accuse us of doing politics,” the Congress leader shot back.
Ms Vadra also rejected the view that the opposition’s push-back against rising fuel prices was too ineffective.
“We are raising fuel prices very strongly. Why don’t you (media) show it? No other media apart from you are showing it.”
On her frequent visits to Uttar Pradesh, seen to be part of her mission to rebuild the Congress in a state where it has been reduced to a minor player, Ms Vadra said: “I will keep coming to the people. I will fight and I will not back down.”