Keeping aside her identities of “Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s sister”, “former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s daughter” and the “Congress general secretary”, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra Wednesday chose to hit the narrow lanes of Brahampuri as a “Delhi girl”, challenging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fight the last two phases of the parliamentary elections on the issues of demonetisation, goods and services tax, women’s safety and youth unemployment.
“Modi ji came to Delhi only five years ago but I was born here. For 47 years, I have lived here and seen every nook and corner of this city. I can tell you what the people of Delhi want. You (Modi) wouldn’t know since you are cooped up in your Race Course Road bungalow,” she said.
PM Modi, at a rally on Sunday, had challenged the Congress to fight the final rounds of the Lok Sabha elections on Rajiv Gandhi’s image. His remark calling the former PM “corrupt number one” had given rise to a political slugfest.
Standing atop a mini-bus Wednesday, Priyanka said, “The BJP is like that student who doesn’t do his homework and when the teacher asks, he says that (Jawaharlal) Nehru ji took my sheet and hid it and Indira (Gandhi) ji tore my homework and made paper boats of it.”
Priyanka led her first campaign in the national capital for former Delhi chief minister and Congress candidate from North East Delhi Sheila Dikshit.
“I am confident that voters living in all of these (along the route that Priyanka took) areas will make the Congress win with a huge margin,” Dikshit said.
Waving at the people who had turned up in huge numbers, despite the sweltering heat, to see her, Priyanka covered a distance of over 2.5km from Jag Pravesh Chandra Hospital to the Yamuna Vihar bus depot.
“People say she (Priyanka) is a spitting image of her grandmother, Indira ji. They are right. She looks so much like the Indira Gandhi I remember— the hair, the cotton saree and the confidence,” 78-year-old Mehrusina Begum, who had come for the roadshow with her 10-year-old grandson, said.
As Priyanka entered the bylanes of the Muslim dominated colonies, voters pledged their support for the Congress throwing rose petals on the route to welcome her.
Despite many in the crowd claiming that the voters in areas such as Shahdara, Seelampur, Brahampuri, and Yamuna Vihar have always pledged their allegiance to the Congress, some believed that the triangular fight with the AAP and the BJP is likely to split the anti-BJP votes.
Along the route of the roadshow, posters of, “Dear Sheila ji, you rejected the alliance (with the AAP), we reject you”, could also be seen.
“We wanted that the BJP be defeated this time but the Congress said no to an alliance with AAP. The anti-BJP votes will get split and it will benefit the BJP,” 19-year-old Mohammad Azhar said.