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Lucknow, April 28: Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Sunday mounted a blistering attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), accusing it of distributing “money, shoes and saris” to the voters in the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency which goes to the polls in the fifth phase on May 6.

“I have been coming to Amethi and Raebareli since I was 12 years old and I know that the people here have a lot of pride and self-respect. They have never begged for anything. But the BJP is distributing money, saris and shoes in front of the media to gain publicity,” Priyanka told reporters, adding that the saffron party was trying to belittle her brother and Congress President Rahul Gandhi who is seeking re-election from Amethi.

Priyanka also said the issues in Amethi were employment, education and health.

Her remarks came a week after Union Minister and BJP candidate from Amethi, Smriti Irani, distributed shoes in Hariharpur village in the constituency. After the shoes were doled out, the local villagers said they wanted to return them to Irani because they were not beggars.

The Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance has not fielded any candidate from Amethi.

Earlier, taking a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his remarks that he comes from a very backward caste,  Priyanka said that she does not have any knowledge of his caste and the opposition has never talked about it.
“I am still not aware of the caste that Modi belongs to. And the opposition and the Congress have never raised the issue of his caste,” she told the media at Busiyave village here.

Gandhi said that the Congress had only been raising issues such as development, health services, employment, education, women safety and farm distress.

Gandhi’s remarks came a day after Modi told a rally in Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh: “Behenji (Mayawati) is distributing my caste certificate. And now that she has started it, I must tell you that I come from the most backward caste in Gujarat.

“I was not aware of my caste till Behenji, Akhilesh Yadav and Congress began mentioning it. I am grateful to them, yet I am not in caste politics. I ask them not to drag me into caste politics,” he added.

Gandhi also slammed the BJP’s use of nationalism as an election plank. “Nationalism is about serving the people, finding solutions to problems faced by the people.

“But what are they doing? They are not listening to the problems of the people. Their voices are suppressed. This is not nationalism,” she said.


Photo: Google