Had Priyanka contested from Varanasi, PM Modi would have lost: Rahul Gandhi : The Tribune India

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Had Priyanka contested from Varanasi, PM Modi would have lost: Rahul Gandhi

Says people have sent the message that they don't want hatred

Had Priyanka contested from Varanasi, PM Modi would have lost: Rahul Gandhi

Gandhi said he and other party parliamentarians would not "fall victim to arrogance" over the poll outcome and work for the cause of the masses.


Raebareli (UP), June 11

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that had his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra contested the Lok Sabha polls from Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would have lost by two or three lakh votes.

Rahul Gandhi was addressing a rally to thank the people of Rae Bareli and Amethi for the Congress victories in the two constituencies. Gandhi won from Rae Bareli, and a family confidant K L Sharma from adjoining Amethi. Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi also attended the rally.

In a jibe at the BJP for its defeat in the Lok Sabha seat of Faizabad, which covers the Ayodhya district, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi ignored the common people and gave top industrialists and other personalities prominence during the consecration ceremony at the Ram temple, and the masses taught the party a lesson.

"Not only in Ayodhya, in Varanasi too the prime minister virtually had a narrow escape. ...had she (Priyanka Gandhi) contested from Varanasi, the prime minister of India would have lost by 2-3 lakh votes," Gandhi said.

The former Congress president also said the people of Uttar Pradesh have voted against hatred, violence and arrogance. Leaders and workers of the Samajwadi Party, the Congress' ally in Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha polls, attended the event as well.

"In 2014, politics changed... Hatred was spread among the people and all benefits went to two or three billionaires," he said, adding that in this election, every section of society voted against this.

"Now, a huge responsibility has fallen on us. First of all, leaders, workers, MLAs and MPs of the Congress should not fall prey to arrogance. Secondly, you should think that we have a family relationship," he said.

"This relationship started 100 years ago in the fields of Raebareli and Amethi when the farmers' movement against the British took place. Jawaharlal Nehru too came at that time. A change was brought about by the farmers of Raebareli and Amethi. The youths here did it. This time, you have done the same thing again," Gandhi added.

He said that people have sent the message that they don't want hatred.

"We have sent the message that we don't like the vision of Narendra Modi... we want a new vision. If we have to give the country a new vision, it has to come from Uttar Pradesh. And we have given the message in Uttar Pradesh that we want the INDIA alliance, the Samajwadi Party and the Congress in the state and the country," Gandhi said.

Referring to the increase in the number of opposition MPs in the Lok Sabha, he said, "We have an army sitting with us in Parliament." The Congress won 99 seats alone in the recently concluded general election and the strength of the opposition INDIA bloc in the 543-member Lok Sabha is 234.

In her brief speech, Priyanka Gandhi termed the Congress' victory in Amethi and Rae Bareli as "historic" and said the entire country is looking towards Awadh, which has sent a message that "we need a dedicated, true and clean politics" in the country.

She also credited the "unity" between the workers of the Congress and Samajwadi Party for the Lok Sabha election win in Uttar Pradesh. "All my friends from the Samajwadi Party, who are sitting on the stage, and all the (party) workers, who fought this election shoulder to shoulder with us, we made an army on whose strength we won Rae Bareli and Amethi (Lok Sabha seats)," she said.

"This was a historic win. We feel proud to say that this message went from Awadh to the entire Uttar Pradesh and to the entire country that we need dedicated, true and clean politics in our country. The entire country is looking towards you," the Congress general secretary said.

Addressing the people, Rahul Gandhi said, "This time, we will try our best as the opposition, we will try to cancel the Agniveer scheme...I may be an MP from Rae Bareli, but whatever happens in Rae Bareli will happen in Amethi too. So I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart. You have changed the politics of India." He said INDIA coalition parties fought the election unitedly in Raebareli, Amethi and other parts of the country, adding, "I want to tell the Samajwadi Party that in this election, every worker of yours fought together with Congress workers in Uttar Pradesh." Gandhi said people came together against the BJP in every state.

"There are two to three reasons for this. The first is that the soul of the country has understood that Narendra Modiji and Amit Shahji are trying to destroy the Constitution of India. They are playing with the foundation of India.

"The second thing is that in 2014, there was a change in the politics of India. For the first time, we saw that the prime minister was openly indulging in the politics of violence and hatred, and this is against the culture and religions of India," he added.

Priyanka Gandhi also thanked the people of Amethi and Rae Bareli for ensuring the Congress' victory in these constituencies.

#Congress #Lok Sabha #Narendra Modi #Priyanka Gandhi Vadra #Rahul Gandhi

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