Pathankot, May 14: Flaying `abhineta’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pseudo nationalism, AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Tuesday asked the people of Gurdaspur if they wanted a Prime Minister who does politics on martyrs or wanted to make a martyr’s son (Rahul Gandhi) the Prime Minister. Leading a roadshow, along with Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, in Pathankot today in support of Congress party’s Gurdaspur candidate Sunil Jakhar, Priyanka said Modi was the biggest `abhineta’ (actor) who had spent the last five years campaigning with lies and falsehoods, and not sparing even martyrs or ex-servicemen.
She lashed out at Modi for politicising the services of the ex-servicemen by claiming One-Rank-One-Pension (OROP) to be a gift to them. Addressing a massive crowd from atop a truck at Balmiki Chowk here, Priyanka, in an apparent reference to BJP fielding actor Sunny Deol, asked the people if they wanted a `neta’ or an `abhineta’. She introduced Jakhar as the asli ‘neta’ of the people. In a snide to Modi’s theatrics and lies, she said the people had voted an `abhineta’ to power and he fooled them for five years.
Modi does not talk about India or its people, farmers and others, he only talks about Pakistan, she quipped, saying he spent the last five years only campaigning and feeding lies to the people. Calling Modi and his BJP arrogant, Priyanka said this kind of arrogance (ahankar) leads to such cheap and petty mindset (mansikta). The BJP talks nationalism, yet calls OROP a gift, said Priyanka, also lashing out at Modi for over the Rafale deal, in which he became the country’s biggest defence expert to hand over the contract to a company with no experience in the field whatsoever.
He is such a big nationalist that he has no time for the jawan, the kisan or the poor man of his own country, while he goes around travelling the world and hugging word leaders, she quipped. “I once saw a picture of Modi kissing a child and felt happy at the thought that he was finally meeting people, but then read the photo caption to discover it was Amit Shah’s son,” she sniggered, ending her sentence with a spontaneous `dhat tere ki’ (oh shit!).
Priyanka again lambasted Modi over his failure to fulfill any promise, including employment and doubling of farmers’ income. Instead, he gave demonetisation and GST to take away jobs and force people to shut down shop, she added. Earlier, addressing a gathering of ex-servicemen at Chakki Pal before setting out on the roadshow, the Congress general secretary said she was hurt about Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claiming to have gifted OROP to the ex-servicemen. OROP is not a favour but the ex-servicemen’s due for the sacrifices they had made in the service of the nation, she said.
Appreciating the Captain Amarinder Singh government’s Guardians of Governance (GoG) scheme for ex-servicemen, Priyanka said they were still involved in the service of the nation through this programme. “I am honoured to be with you and inspired by you,” she adding, expressing the hope that she could also serve the nation like them. The roadshow of Priyanka, who was joined by several other senior Congress leaders including AICC general secretary Asha Kumari and Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, evoked unprecedented response from the people of Pathankot, who turned out in large numbers to extend support to Jakhar.
Men, women and children waving Congress flags had lined up the entire route of the roadshow, showering rose petals on Priyanka and Captain Amarinder on the way. Bhangra dancers on rooftops showed their enthusiasm as the convoy of vehicles went past, with flowers being showered by people from the terrace of their homes. The vehicles in the convoy moved slowly, as the crowds stopped them every few steps to present garlands and flowers, with mobile phones clicking away non-stop as people tried to capture the exhilarating moments.
While women surged forward in large numbers for a glimpse of Priyanka and the chief minister, youngsters shouted anti-Modi slogans to fire up the campaign even further. `Dhols’ added to the fervour and excitement, which underlined the massive support for the Congress in the region, which had witnessed major development works since the Captain Amarinder government took over, with Jakhar engaging with people on the ground for the past 18 months or so.