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To Modi overture, Priyanka delivers a crushing comeback

By Sujit Bhar

The Congress finally found the fresh voice it was waiting for. As expected, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra spoke at mother Sonia Gandhi’s pet Lok Sabha constituency Rae Bareli on February 17 and beside her was brother Rahul. She was fire and brimstone, and she was strong in her identifying her family and the Congress with the people of Rae Bareli, in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress first family’s age-old haveli.

There has been talk of late that Priyanka would be taking over the leadership of the party from her brother, but this has been proved to be totally unfounded. Priyanka’s speech at Rae Bareli was expected, and whatever Ahmed Patel, Sonia’s political secretary, may have indicated in his tweet before the polls makes even less sense, now that polling has reached its last legs.

Rahul has been at the head of things all through UP and other states, and it was only here that Priyanka finally took over. Even while deciding the alliance with Samajwadi Party and Akhilesh Yadav, it was Rahul who did the major dealings while Priyanka had come in to sort out issues, tapping her connection with Akhilesh’s wife Dimple. That had started the rumour.

And now she was, for the first time in public mood. 

And how!

She dove into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statements, cutting them into strips of meaningless words. Said she: “UP doesn’t need adopted sons, it has its own. I appeal to you all to identify those who make false promises.

“The PM has done nothing for Varanasi; UP doesn’t need an outsider. Ask people about development in Amethi; UP doesn’t need an adopted son when it has its own,” she said.

In a strong attack on Modi’s speech, she asked: “PM ne kaha mujhe UP ne godh liya aur mein UP ka vikas karoonga. Kya UP ko vikas ke liye kisi ko godh lene ki zarurat hai?”

Then she reminded all of the terrors and pains of demonetization, she said how on November 8 last year the PM had said he had a new idea and “made you all stand in queues”.

It was a common refrain, no new lines, but delivered with a gusto that her family constituency resonates with.

The Congress is where it was, the anchors are stuck strong and deep.

Related Read: What Triggered the Priyanka Takeover Talk (link: https://www.apnlive.com/politics/what-triggered-the-priyanka-takeover-talk-8367 )

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