Priyanka Gandhi Blames Shiromani Akali Dal for Desecration of Guru Granth Sahib
The Congress and the SAD have been trading barbs at each other over the sacrilege incident at the Guru Granth Sahib in 2015.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra speaks with party leader Navjot Singh Sidhu as Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh looks on, during an election rally ahead of the last phase of Lok Sabha polls, in Bathinda, Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (PTI Photo)
Bathinda: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday blamed BJP ally Shiromani Akali Dal for the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib, an emotive issue in Punjab.
In her first election rally in Punjab for the Lok Sabha polls, Priyanka Gandhi also mocked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for suggesting that a cloud cover had helped IAF planes evade Pakistani radars during the Balakot air strikes.
"The soul of Punjab will be lost if anything happens to Guru Granth Sahib. Their (BJP's) own ally indulged in sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib for political gains and votes," she said at the rally in Bathinda, an Akali Dal bastion where Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal is contesting against the Congress' Amrinder Singh Raja Warring.
The Congress and the SAD have been trading barbs at each other over the sacrilege incident at the Guru Granth Sahib in 2015. Protests over a series of such incidents resulted in police firing in which two persons were killed.
Priyanka Gandhi, the Congress general secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, invoked the teachings of Guru Nanak -- 'tera, tera' (yours, yours) and 'sarbat da bhala' (welfare of everybody). "But their (BJP's) ally was only for 'mera mera' (mine, mine)," she said, without naming the SAD.
The Congress leader also spoke in Punjabi to strike a chord with the crowd. "I am happy to be here. My husband (Robert Vadra) is a Punjabi. He has always faced each challenge with a smile.
"I salute the land of Punjab and the Punjabi community. The Punjabi community always face challenges with a strong will. And always remain happy and in state of 'chardi kala' (optimism)," she said.
Priyanka Gandhi pointed out that she had come to know about Modi holding a rally in Bathinda a day ago.
"I have also learnt that the clouds of Bathinda gave answers to his spate of lies," she said, referring to the strong winds that had uprooted some tents in the prime minister's rally. "Whether it is strong winds or storm or cloudy weather, but the truth about him has now come on the people's radar."
Priyanka Gandhi accused Modi of spreading propaganda and lies. "When you hear his propaganda, then you will feel as if no development took place in the past 70 years. All the development took place only in five years," she said.
"Perhaps his own radar should be on his promises," she said, while taking a jibe at Modi's "unkept" promises of Rs 15 lakh in bank accounts, doubling farmers income and 2 crore jobs.
When Punjab was fighting for India's freedom, Priyanka Gandhi said the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders were busy flattering the British.
She alleged that land, sand, liquor, transport mafias and 'chitta' (drugs) flourished under the previous SAD-BJP rule.
Priyanka Gandhi accused Modi of visiting a number of countries, but not having time to meet the poor and farmers in his own Varanasi constituency.
"The PM has visited America, hugged Obama ji (then US president Barack Obama), went to Japan and beat drums there. Africa, Europe, whichever name you take, China, Pakistan -- where he had biryani," she said.
"But, he never visited any house of the poor and farmer in his own constituency, Varanasi. He never enquired any farmer and never asked how they were making their both ends meet," she added.
Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu also addressed his first poll rally in the state.
Later, Priyanka Gandhi held a roadshow in Pathankot in favour of state Congress chief Sunil Jakhar, who is pitted against the BJP's Sunny Deol.
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