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Rediff.com  » Election » Priyanka takes on Maya in 'pavitra bhoomi'

Priyanka takes on Maya in 'pavitra bhoomi'

April 11, 2009 17:16 IST

Campaigning for her brother Rahul in UP's Amethi Lok Sabha constituency, Priyanka Gandhi on Saturday attacked the Mayawati government, saying it "ignored" the region and "created obstacles" in the implementation of Centre's development schemes for the state.

"The state government is not implementing development schemes in the area and is ignoring the region. On the other hand, whenever we tried to do something, they (the BSP government) created obstacles," she said, addressing a public meeting in Ranipur village in Amethi.

Lauding the development works done by sitting MP and Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandi, she said: "I am his sister, therefore, I know he has made tremendous efforts. As he could not get enough support from the state government, developmental works have been carried out with central assistance."

Invoking the "old relationship" with people of Amethi, she said, "I came for campaigning in favour of my father here when I was 17. Now it has been 20 years since I have been coming. I'm here not to ask for votes as it is already ensured."

Describing Amethi as her father's 'karma bhoomi' and her 'pavitra bhoomi' (sacred land), she said her family will remain indebted to the people of the area for their "love and affection".

Later, talking to media persons at Khalispur village, Priyanka rubbished BJP prime ministerial candidate L K Advani's charge that Manmohan Singh was a "weak" prime minister.

"He is not weak. He is not at all weak. He is very strong. The work he has done in five years is a proof of it," she said when asked about the BJP leader's statement.

Addressing another rally in Nawan village, she tried to strike an emotional chord with people. "Though my family has worked for people here, the love and affection we have received in return is much beyond that. We cannot pay back for generations the love and affection you have showered on us."

When asked whether she would enter politics, she quipped: "I will not join politics. You have been asking this question for 20 years."

Priyanka told a gathering that since Rahul was campaigning across the country, "he has sent his younger sister here (for campaigning in Amethi)."

Acknowledging that unemployment was a problem, the 36-year-old said: "I am also a mother and I know what a mother wants ...a bright future for her children."

Earlier, in an informal chat with newspersons on her arrival at the Fursatganj airport here, Priyanka said that she would ask electorate to vote on the issue of development by rising above caste and communal considerations.

She refused to comment on Chief Minister Mayawati's statement that Maneka Gandhi had failed to inculcate good values in Varun. During her last visit to the constituency,

Priyanka had criticised her cousin and BJP leader Varun on his alleged hate speech during an election rally.

Anand Mishra in Amethi
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