Massive wave of change prevailing in poll-bound MP, says Priyanka; slams BJP govt on corruption, price rise

06:26 PM Jul 21, 2023 | PTI |

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Friday said a massive wave of change prevails in Madhya Pradesh, where Assembly elections are due at the end of the year, and attacked the ruling BJP over a host of issues, including price rise.


In her second visit to the state after June 12, she reiterated the Congress’ five guarantees, including restoration of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) for government employees, in case it wins the year-end Assembly polls.

Addressing a ‘Jan Aakrosh’ rally in Gwalior, the home turf of Union minister and former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, she accused the Bharatiya Janata Party dispensation in the state of scams and asked people to give her party a strong mandate so that its government cannot be toppled.

The Congress’ government under Kamal Nath had fallen in March 2020 after MLAs loyal to Scindia revolted.

She also claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi had ”politicised” the Manipur issue by taking the name of some opposition-ruled states while talking about law and order.


”Manipur is burning and the PM’s statement on it came after 77 days following a video of grave atrocities on women. Even in that statement he politicised the issue and named the states ruled by opposition parties,” she claimed.

”It is the PM’s biggest responsibility to maintain political decency. Just days ago, an opposition leaders’ meeting took place. The PM said all opposition leaders are thieves. The meeting was attended by senior leaders who command respect in their states,” she claimed.

Ruing that political decency had taken a beating, Gandhi said allegations and counter-allegations had become the norm, leading to ”real issues and concerns” of the people being pushed to the backburner.

Asserting the importance of ‘Satyagraha’ or the ”fight for truth” in the country’s freedom struggle, she said ”we seek decency, simplicity and easy accessibility in leaders”, adding that ”ego has come into play in politics now”.

”In my 30-minute speech, I can attack the Prime Minister for 10 minutes and Scindia’s ideology and MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for another 10 minutes. But I don’t want to get into it and divert people’s attention from the core issues,” the Congress leader asserted.

”I have come here to speak on your issues, price rise and inflation. Price rise has broken the backs of the people. Water is dripping from the roof due to rains but the cost of repairing it has skyrocketed. Inflation has hit the roof and it is hard to live. Prices of cooking gas, edible oil have shot up exceptionally,” said Gandhi, who took the government to task over tomato prices.

Without naming anybody, Gandhi said the Centre was handing over the country’s wealth to two businessman, one of whom earns Rs 1,600 crore per day, while a farmer was unable to make Rs 27 per day.

She reiterated the Congress will implement its five ”guarantees”, namely the restoration of the Old Pension Scheme, cooking gas cylinder for Rs 500 each, 100 units of free electricity, Rs 1,500 financial aid per month to women and restarting of loan waiver for farmers, if voted to power in MP.

Gandhi pointed out that her party always fulfilled its promises and cited the implementation of OPS and other ”guarantees” by Congress governments in Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Karnataka.

She said the BJP government in MP was based on deceit, an apparent reference to the collapse of the Kamal Nath dispensation in March 2020 after MLAs loyal to Scindia walked out. It paved the way for the return of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government after a 15-month break from power.

In a veiled attack on Scindia, she asked the people to give her party a strong mandate in the year-end Assembly polls so that no one can topple it.

Alleging that 18 years in power in MP had made the BJP develop a ”big ego”, Gandhi lashed out at the party over the recent ‘patwari’ recruitment exam held in April.

”Students work hard and appear for recruitment exams. Look at the patwari (exam) scam. What is the solution to such scams,” she asked, adding that it as shameful ”just 21” persons have government jobs in the state in the last three years.

The Congress has alleged irregularities in the patwari recruitment exam claiming seven out of 10 successful candidates appeared for the test at a centre located in a college owned by a BJP legislator.

Moreover, the Congress has alleged, a dominant number of successful candidates are from the Gwalior-Chambal region.

Slamming the ruling BJP for promising jobs, Gandhi said the ruling dispensation did nothing since 2003 except indulging in scams and bringing about inflation.

In a reference to the damage caused to idols at the Mahakal Lok corridor in Ujjain some months ago due to gusty winds, she said the BJP government’s list of scandals was long, with ”even gods not being spared”.

Gandhi had kickstarted her party’s Assembly poll campaign in the state on June 12 with a rally in Jabalpur, where she slammed the BJP over a host of issues, including corruption, unemployment and inflation, and had promised five ”guarantees”.

In that rally, she had also slammed Scindia, a powerful Congress leader who switched over to the BJP in 2020 and was later made Union minister.

Gwalior region, where Friday’s rally was held, was once ruled by the Scindia dynasty. During the day, she also paid tribute at the memorial of legendary freedom fighter Rani Laxmibai.


Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.