SEEKING VOTES FOR CONG Sonia’s Letter Silent on SP, Criticises Centre
Our Politicial Bureau
New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi has appealed in a letter to voters of Uttar Pradesh to choose her party candidates. The letter released on the eve of the fourth and fifth phase of polls that cover assembly segments under the Rae Bareli and Amethi Lok Sabha constituencies, however, made no mention of Congress ally, the Samajwadi Party, or the performance of the Akhilesh Yadav regime. Expectedly, Gandhi’s letter contained a frontal attack on the BJP regime at the Centre.
Party insiders said that the omission of SP in Gandhi’s letter may have been due to the awkward situation of both Congress and SP candidates contesting some assembly constituencies in Rae Bareli and Amethi. However, the omission has become a political talking point given the larger context of the letter clearly referring to elections to the state as a whole.
Gandhi has not campaigned in the ongoing UP elections till now. These polls will be the first instance of her not campaigning in her 18-year tenureasCongresspresidentif shedoes not do so in the remaining fortnight. While some attribute it to health issues, party insiders feel this was part of a handing over organizational, parliamentary and campaign responsibilities to vice-president RahulGandhi.Thelettermerelysaid that she was unable to campaign this time “for some reasons.”
Pouring her family’s affection for the people of Rae Bareli and the Gandhi family’s gratitude for the support the electorate had given it, Gandhi urged voters to strengthen the ‘Hand’ of Congress by ensuring maximum victory of Congress candidates.
Targeting the Narendra Modi regime, she alleged that the Centre had “punishedandbetrayedthepeopleof Rae Bareli and Amethi” by “taking away their welfare programmes”.