Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi has said that people have no significance in Bharatiya Janata Party’s brand of nationalism. “The BJP’s nationalism starts with [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi’s name, and ends with it,” she told Hindustan Times in an interview published on Saturday. “That’s the reason why they use humiliating phrases like ‘Modi’s army’.”
Gandhi said the Congress too was talking about nationalism. “We are saying that listen to the people of the nation – to the voice of the farmers, the youth, the soldiers, the workers, and of the women,” she said. “All of these together make what nationalism is. We work for the people by listening to them.”
Without naming any BJP leader, Gandhi said some people were focusing on futile matters to dodge questions on income, jobs and farm crisis. Her comments come as several BJP leaders, including Modi, have criticised former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Gandhi claimed she cannot live with cowardice and hence stepped into politics. “I had the thought that at a time this country’s democracy, our Constitution and institutions are under attack, sitting at home and not coming to politics will be cowardly,” she said. Gandhi added that she should have come in to active politics during the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in 2017. “I was mistaken at that time,” she told the Hindustan Times.
Gandhi again reiterated that the no Congress candidate in Uttar Pradesh was harming the prospects of the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance. “We have given tickets to candidates who are, in fact, harming the BJP,” she claimed.
While Gandhi admitted that contesting unitedly against the BJP in the state would have made the fight stronger, she added that every party has its own compulsions in different states. The Congress has failed to form alliances in some key states including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
Asked if she would like to see Rahul Gandhi as prime minister if the Congress emerges as the largest party in the Opposition, Gandhi said she would like to see her brother happy. “I wish that he gets whatever he needs for his happiness and for him to feel complete. I wish for his success.”
Priyanka Gandhi added that she was not worried about her husband Robert Vadra being investigated in ongoing cases, including one of money laundering.