Had Priyanka fought from Varanasi, Modi would have lost by 2–3 lakh votes: Rahul Gandhi

Modi ignored the common people and feted industrialists and other 'personalities' at the Ram Temple consecration, he said of the BJP's loss in Ayodhya

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (shown) would have beaten Modi by 2–3 lakh votes, says Rahul Gandhi (photo: PTI)
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (shown) would have beaten Modi by 2–3 lakh votes, says Rahul Gandhi (photo: PTI)

NH Digital

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said Tuesday, 11 June, that had his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra contested the Lok Sabha polls from Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would have lost by 2–3 lakh votes.

Addressing a meeting in Rae Bareli to thank the voters and party workers here, he said the INDIA bloc parties fought the election unitedly in Raebareli, Amethi and other parts of the country to reduce the strength of the BJP-led NDA in Parliament.

Gandhi said he and other party parliamentarians would not "fall victim to arrogance" over the poll outcome and would continue to work for the cause of the masses.

The Congress leader accused Modi of ignoring the common people and giving prominence to top industrialists and other personalities during the consecration ceremony at the Ram temple, and said the masses taught them a lesson by ensuring the BJP's defeat in Ayodhya.

"Not only in Ayodhya, in Varanasi too the prime minister virtually had a narrow escape...," said Gandhi, comparing his sister's chances to the incumbent and current prime minister's.

The former Congress president also said the people of Uttar Pradesh have voted against hatred, violence and arrogance.

"In 2014, politics changed... Hatred was spread among the people and all benefits went to 2–3 billionaires," he said, adding that in this election, every section of society voted against this sort of governance.

"Now, a huge responsibility has fallen on us. First of all, leaders, workers, MLAs and MPs of the Congress should not fall prey to arrogance. Secondly, you should think that we have a family relationship," he said.

This relationship started 100 years ago in the fields of Rae Bareli and Amethi when the farmers' movement against the British took place. Jawaharlal Nehru too came at that time. A change was brought about by the farmers of Rae Bareli and Amethi. The youths here did it. This time, you have done the same thing again.

Gandhi said that people have sent the message that they don't want hatred.

"We have sent the message that we don't like the vision of Narendra Modi... We want a new vision. If we have to give the country a new vision, it has to come from Uttar Pradesh.

"And we have given the message in Uttar Pradesh that we want the INDIA alliance, the Samajwadi Party and the Congress in the state and the country," Gandhi said.

Referring to the increase in the number of opposition MPs in the Lok Sabha, he said:

"We have an army sitting with us in Parliament."

The Congress won 99 seats alone in the recently concluded general election but the strength of the opposition INDIA bloc in the 543-member Lok Sabha is 234.

Addressing the people, Rahul Gandhi said, "This time, we will try our best as the opposition, we will try to cancel the Agniveer scheme... I may be an MP from Rae Bareli, but whatever happens in Rae Bareli will happen in Amethi too.

So I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart. You have changed the politics of India.

Gandhi said people came together against the BJP in every state.

There are two to three reasons for this. The first is that the soul of the country has understood that Narendra Modiji and Amit Shahji are trying to destroy the Constitution of India. They are playing with the foundation of India.
"The second thing is that in 2014, there was a change in the politics of India. For the first time, we saw that the prime minister was openly indulging in the politics of violence and hatred, and this is against the culture and religions of India"

In her brief speech alongside her brother, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also thanked the people of Amethi and Rae Bareli for ensuring the party's victory in these constituencies.

Leaders and workers of the Samajwadi Party, the Congress' ally in Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha polls, attended the event as well and were thanked by both leaders.

"All my friends from the Samajwadi Party, who are sitting on the stage, and all the (party) workers, who fought this election shoulder to shoulder with us, we made an army on whose strength we won Rae Bareli and Amethi (Lok Sabha seats)," Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said.

Collated and edited PTI inputs

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