In her first political rally in South India, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday told her brother and party chief Rahul Gandhi was wrongly portrayed and caricatured by opponents for more than a decade “but he still had guts to go and hug the man who called their mother names and insulted their late father”.
She was referring to Rahul Gandhi hugging Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha last year after his speech during the no-confidence motion.
In an emotionally-charged speech in Wayanad, Priyanka stated her brother was under personal attack for many years but he was totally different from what his opponents have portrayed him as. “They have sought to portray a character of him which is very far from the truth. As children, we shared moments of devastation and loss together. Despite heavy losses he never nursed anger towards anyone. I am here to seek votes for my brother and best friend,” she told.
Giving a personal touch to the speech she also listed the personal qualities of her brother. “He is a black belt, a trained pilot, ace diver, and mountaineer. He doesn’t like any publicity. I know he won’t like what I narrated. He is well-versed with epics and puranas of the country and I doubt whether the so-called custodians of faith and culture have such in-depth knowledge.”
She stated that although the family was scarred by tragedies, anger is not part of her brother’s make up.
“Indiraji was like a mother to us. When I was 12 she was assassinated in our home. Our small family of four was bound by the love of our parents. Six years later when my brother was studying in Harward our father was also killed. Despite these personal losses he never nursed any anger towards anyone,” she stated in Mananthawadi.
She stated she was entrusting her brother in the hands of people of Wayanad.
Like Rahul Gandhi, she also spared the Left and attacked the BJP throughout her speech. The Left was upset with Rahul’s candidature from Wayanad, his second constituency besides Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, saying it would weaken secular forces. Later the Congress president had made it clear he won’t say anything against Left parties despite their attacks on him.
Priyanka accused the BJP government of dividing the country. She said five years ago people had reposed immense faith in it but the government betrayed them in all senses. “When the moment it came to power it started betraying people. All their promises turned hollow,” she stated.
In a whistle-stop day of campaigning, she addressed a rally in Mananthawadi, a farmers’ conclave in Pulpally and another meeting in Nilambur. She will be campaigning in Kerala on Sunday also before campaigning for the third phase of polling on April 23 ends in the evening.