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Ganga Doesn’t Belong to Anyone: Scindia Hits Back After BJP’s Criticism of Priyanka’s River Sojourn

When asked if the river could help the Congress in the state in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Scindia said the Congress fought for the farmers, jobless youths and the poor, unlike the BJP.

News18 India

Updated:March 19, 2019, 9:24 PM IST
Ganga Doesn’t Belong to Anyone: Scindia Hits Back After BJP’s Criticism of Priyanka’s River Sojourn
Congress general secretary and eastern Uttar Pradesh state in-charge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra waves to party workers as she undertakes a ride in the Ganga. (Image: AP)

Ashoknagar: Responding to the BJP’s criticism of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi’s Ganga yatra, former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Tuesday said if someone was trying to reach out to the public through a particular medium, it shouldn’t be a concern for others.

“Has the Ganga been patented by any particular political outfit?” asked the Scindia scion, in-charge of western Uttar Pradesh.

Gandhi (in-charge of Uttar Pradesh east) and Scindia have been jointly tasked to turn the tables for the Congress in the politically crucial state.

In an exclusive chat to News18, the newly appointed Congress general secretary said the river belonged to the entire country. “It belongs to 125 crore Indians and not any particular caste or sect,” he said.

On Monday, Gandhi started her Ganga yatra from Prayagraj in UP on a boat to reach out to voters urging them to bring "a government that works for them" and asserting that "my brother Rahul Gandhi does what he says".

When asked if the river could help the Congress in the state in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Scindia said the Congress fought for the public. “It fights for the cause of farmers, jobless youths and the poor. We don’t believe in jumlas like the BJP,” said the former Union minister, busy overseeing poll preparations in his constituency Guna-Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh.

Regarding Gandhi’s remarks that only the rich kept ‘chowkidars’ (gatekeepers), Scindia said he only wanted to add, “Ulta chor kotwal ko dante”.

Taking a swipe at BJP leaders for adding ‘chowkidar’ to their names in their social media handles, the Congress leader said a Gujarat BJP leader had recently reported a case of theft in his house and it was his own gatekeeper who turned out to be the culprit.

Regarding the alliance of Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP) and Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) that left out the Congress, Scindia said, “We are absolutely fine with this.”

“Time and again, we have clarified that the common goal is to defeat the BJP and ways of achieving this could be different,” he said, adding the SP, BSP and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) have aligned to reach the shared goal of the Congress. “We respect their decision (on alliance),” Scindia said.

To a query that the Congress, with its 7.5% vote-share in the state, has offered only seven seats to the SP and BSP, Scindia said, “The Congress has decided to take along everyone in the Lok Sabha polls,” adding that he was hopeful the grand old party would come out with flying colours in the northern state.

While sharing seat-sharing details in UP last month, Mayawati and Yadav had left two seats for the Congress (the Gandhi strongholds of Amethi and Rae Bareli), the grand old party has recently offered to leave seven seats for the two regional powerhouses, evoking angry responses from both the parties. On Monday, Mayawati said the SP-BSP combine was capable enough to defeat the BJP in Uttar Pradesh.

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