Amit Shah targets Gandhi family in Congress bastion Rae Bareli, Priyanka hits back

‘Their (the Congress’) leaders praised Pakistan, calling for talks with Pakistan. Are talks possible with someone who kills our soldiers?’ the Home Minister asked the gathering

Updated - May 13, 2024 11:25 am IST

Published - May 12, 2024 04:46 pm IST - Lucknow

Union Home Minister Amit Shah addressed a public meeting for Lok Sabha elections, in Rae Bareli, on May 12, 2024.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah addressed a public meeting for Lok Sabha elections, in Rae Bareli, on May 12, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday in Rae Bareli attacked the Gandhi family for failing to do any development work in the constituency despite representing it for decades, while accusing former Congress president Sonia Gandhi of spending more than 70% of her Member of Parliament funds on minorities.

“The people of Uttar Pradesh have rejected the SP (Samajwadi Party)-Congress who opened fire on the devotees of Lord Ram and encouraged hooliganism. Be it Amethi or Rae Bareli, the Gandhi family has not done any development anywhere. You have been voting for them (the Gandhi family) for many years. Have you received anything from the MP fund? If you have not received it, where did it go? It went to their vote bank. Sonia Gandhi-ji has spent more than 70% of the MP funds on minorities,” Mr. Shah said in Rae Bareli.

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“The Gandhi family is expert in making false promises. BJP will make Rae Bareli the number one district of the State. Rahul baba, who is running from here to there (Amethi to Rae Bareli) in fear of defeat, is not going to get anything even in Rae Bareli. It is clear from the huge crowd that gathered in today’s meeting that the people have made up their mind to free Rae Bareli from the Nehru-Gandhi family. After winning, the Gandhi family never looks back towards Rae Bareli. They are neither companions of the people of the region in their sorrows nor in their happiness. The people of Raebareli have decided to replace the Congress, which only thinks about the welfare of the Nehru-Gandhi family, with the BJP,” he added.

Mr. Shah, who was addressing the rally in support of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Dinesh Pratap Singh, pitched the issue of removing Article 370 from the Constitution, accusing Congress leaders of praising Pakistan. “Congress feels that removal of Article 370 was wrong. You all tell me whether the removal of Article 370 was wrong. Their (the Congress’) leaders praised Pakistan, calling for talks with Pakistan. Are talks possible with someone who kills our soldiers?” he asked the gathering.

“Kashmir belongs to India. When Narendra Modi-ji become Prime Minister for the second time, he removed Article 370 and made Kashmir an integral part of India. Terrorism ended in Kashmir. The nation is now fully secure and prosperous,” Mr. Shah said.

Asserting that the law and order situation had improved in U.P. with the BJP assuming power, the Home Minister claimed that anti-social elements had migrated from the State. “Before the BJP government assumed power in U.P., [the State] used to witness rampant activities of anti-social elements with full lawlessness. But after 2017, anti-social elements started migrating from U.P. We have done a lot of development for every section of the society, keeping the poor at the forefront of welfare initiatives,” Mr. Shah said.

After addressing the rally, Mr. Shah reached local Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA Manoj Pandey’s residence near Gora Bazaar and met with him and his family for about half an hour. Mr. Pandey, on February 27, resigned from the post of the party’s chief whip and cross-voted in favour of the BJP candidate in the Rajya Sabha election. He is considered an influential leader in the region, hailing from the Brahmin community, with Brahmins constituting a sizeable population in Rae Bareli. Polling for the Rae Bareli seat will be held in the fifth phase on May 20.

Priyanka hits back

Hitting back at the Home Minister’s comments on the Gandhi family in Rae Bareli, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who campaigned for her brother Rahul Gandhi, highlighted the developmental projects initiated by the Congress. “What has the BJP done for Rae Bareli? It was the Congress which established the Rail Coach Factory, National Institute of Fashion Technology, and developed of five national highways. We started top hospitals,” Ms. Vadra said, adding that she regularly visits Rae Bareli many times. “Does he (Mr. Shah) keep a list of my movements?” she said.

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