In a veiled attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday said the Mahabharata character Duryodhana too had “such arrogance”.
Addressing a public meeting here, she also criticised Modi for calling her late father and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi “Bhrashtachari Number 1” (the most corrupt).
She dared Modi to fight the Lok Sabha elections on issues like development rather than “divert” the people’s attention.
“This country has never forgiven ego and arrogance. History is witness to this, the Mahabharata is witness to this,” she said at the meeting in support of Kumari Selja, the Congress candidate from Ambala.
“Duryodhana also had such arrogance. When Lord Krishna went to make him understand, he tried to take him captive,” the Congress general secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh said.
She read out a poem by Hindi poet Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, saying wisdom is the first casualty before someone’s downfall: “Jab naash manush par chhata hai, pehle vivek mar jata hai...”
She said if the prime minister has “courage” he should fight the Lok Sabha elections on issues related to development, employment, farmers and women.
He should face the people and tell them what he has done for them over the past five years and what he plans to do in the future, she said.
“You are the PM, you are a big leader of the BJP, you should understand this. Otherwise the people will teach you a lesson,” she said.
“This election is about achievements of the BJP-led Central Government. But to hide their failures, they try to divert the attention of people of country,” she said.
Priyanka Gandhi said the people of the country are wise.
“You cannot mislead the people. The people of this country make every leader answerable and they will make you answerable as well,” she said.
She attacked Modi for recently saying that Rajiv Gandhi’s life ended as ‘Bhrashtachari Number 1’.
“When BJP leaders go out to campaign, they do not talk about issues. They do not say why they have not fulfilled the promises they made,” she said.
“They raise other issues. Sometimes they say the elephant was sleeping for 70 years, sometimes they seek votes in the name of martyrs, and at other times they insult those from my family who sacrificed their lives,” she added.
“But they do not talk about your needs, your problems that need to be resolved,” she said.
“These polls are not about one family, this election is about crores of families whose hopes and aspirations have been completely broken by this government and the prime minister,” she said.
Former Union Minister Selja is taking on the sitting BJP MP R L Kataria in Ambala.
Meanwhile, BJP president Amit Shah flayed Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for comparing Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Duryodhana, the evil prince from Mahabharata, and said the Lok Sabha poll results on May 23 will determine whether Modi is Duryodhana or Arjun (the protagonist of Mahabharata).
“Priyanka Gandhi has compared Modi ji with Duryodhana. People of the country will decide who is Duryodhana and who is Arjun on May 23. Priyanka ji, do not worry, people will tell you whether Modi ji is Duryodana or Arjun,” Shah said at an election rally in West Bengal's Midnapore.
While also addressing a rally in Hisar, Priyanka Gandhi said the government doesn't understand the needs of farmers.
“They don't talk about farmers. They are trying to mislead the farmers. Instead of providing two crore jobs, the government's decisions have cut down 5 crore jobs,” she said.
On black money, she said not a single paisa brought back from abroad.