Union minister Uma Bharti on Tuesday took the political discourse a notch lower by saying the country will see Priyanka Gandhi Vadra the way it views a “thief’s wife”, while claiming that the Congress general secretary will have no impact on the outcome of Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh.
She was speaking to reporters in Chhattisgarh’s Durg.
Bharti’s comments were an apparent reference to Gandhi’s husband and businessman Robert Vadra who is currently embroiled in a money laundering case. When asked to comment on speculation that Gandhi will contest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi, Bharati said, “It is a democracy, anybody can fight election from anywhere”.
“Why will she [Priyanka Gandhi] have an impact,” Bharti said. “Her husband is facing theft charges. She will be seen the way India sees a thief’s wife.”
Bharati also said that while she respects the Election Commission, she did not agree with the similarity of punishment meted out to Azam Khan and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Bharati said that while Adityanath had responded to something Mayawati had said, Azam Khan had “insulted women”. “There should even be action against Azam Khan under the Indian Penal Code. I don’t believe the two things can be seen equally at all,” she said.
A three-day campaign ban has also been imposed on Khan for his alleged “khaki underwear” jibe against actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada, who is his rival BJP candidate in Rampur Lok Sabha seat.
The all-India ban came into force from 6 am Tuesday.
Bharti on Tuesday campaigned for BJP’s candidate in Durg Lok Sabha constituency which goes to polls in the third phase on April 23.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s husband Robert Vadra has been questioned in several cases, including one involving money laundering
Over the years, it has been a source of multiple BJP jibes, which practically doubled since Priyanka Gandhi joined active politics as the party’s General Secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh.
But mostly, it has been the Congress and its chief Rahul Gandhi – who is also the brother of Priyanka Gandhi — who have been subject to such attacks.
In February, as Robert Vadra was called for questioning by the Enforcement Department, the BJP had launched scathing attacks on the Congress.
Senior BJP leader Sambit Patra had tweeted: “Just before Robert Vadra is to surrender to ED for interrogation in money laundering case, posters featuring him are showcased outside the Congress Headquarters in Delhi! Congress in desperation shamelessly adoring the medallion of Corruption in the name of ‘Yuva Josh’!”
Priyanka Gandhi has been dismissed as a lightweight, with several leaders launching sexist attacks on her.
Senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya had called her a “chocolatey” face and Bihar leader Sushil Kumar Modi was quoted as saying by the IANS, “An election is neither a wrestling match, nor a beauty contest, nor it is a competition of some other type”.
Declaring that for her, it is “family first”, Priyanka Gandhi has made it a point to accompany Robert Vadra to the offices of the Enforcement Directorate during his questioning. She also said she was doing it to make a point.
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