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Posted at: Feb 17, 2017, 4:09 PM; last updated: Feb 17, 2017, 9:29 PM (IST)

Rahul, Priyanka hit out at Modi on mother Sonia's home turf

Rahul, Priyanka hit out at Modi on mother Sonia's home turf
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi with his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at an election rally in Raebareli on Friday. PTI
Rae Bareli, February 17

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra both criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim of being “Uttar Pradesh’s adopted son”, as they addressed their first rally together in their mother Sonia Gandhi’s Lok Sabha constituency on Friday.

Sharing the campaign stage with his sister — Congress party’s star campaigner —Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of making "empty" promises.

 “He (Modi) makes relationships wherever he goes...He went to Varanasi and termed Ganga as his mother and said he was the son of Varanasi...In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, he promised to change Varanasi," the Congress vice-president said.

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"Modiji, rishtey bolney sey nahin, nibhaney sey bante hain (relationships are not developed just by talking but by nurturing)," Rahul said, as he accused Modi — who fought the 2014 general elections from Varanasi) — of being wont of making promises without fulfilling them.

"In Bihar (elections), he promised to give special package, was it given? I have a list of things that he promised for Varanasi — clean Ganga, ghats, ring road, free WiFi, Bhojpuri Film City. Modiji, you have not fulfilled the promises you made to your mother," he said.

In a payback to the Prime Minister’s remark at a recent rally that Samajwadi Party national president Akhilesh Yadav and Gandhi — who are fighting the state assembly elections together — were like “rivals that befriend each other after the interval", Congress vice-president accused Modi of pretending to be a hero while really playing the villain.

"You must have seen the movie 'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge'? Do you remember it? In the film there is a promise of 'achhe din' (good days)," he said drawing applause from the audience who lapped up the banter.

"Like Shah Rukh Khan, Modi too made a film like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and promised 'Acche Din' but after two- and-a-half years, Gabbar of Sholay has come (sic)," he said.

He mocked Modi’s ‘Swachh Bharat’ (Clean India campaign) as he accused Modi of handing people brooms while he went jet setting.

 “The Prime Minister says 'India is dirty. You clean up. I have to go to America and meet Obama. I'll check when I'm back’.”

Criticising Modi for his sudden decision to invalidate high value banknotes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 — a shake up that unleashed chaos in the country for several days — Gandhi said the poor were made to queue up in front of the banks while he continued “to favour” the rich.

'UP doesn’t need outsiders’

Making her maiden speech in the ongoing campaign, Vadra wondered if the state really needed a leader from outside when it had its own sons.

"PM Narendra Modi had earlier too said Varanasi has adopted me and I am like a son for it and will develop it...I felt, does UP need to adopt anyone from outside," she said to a cheering crowd.

"Modiji, does the state need to adopt anyone from outside? Is there no youth here? You have two such youth in Rahulji and Akhileshji before you who have UP in their hearts and mind," Vadra said in a brief but forceful speech.

"No outside leader is required. Every single youth of the state can become a leader.... Every single youth here will work for UP and make the state progress by leaps and bounds. This is the wish of Rahulji and Akhileshji." — PTI

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