“I respect Mayawati ji and Akhilesh ji, but Congress will put in its all to fight (Lok Sabha polls) and in 2022, will form government in UP,” Rahul said. SP and BSP have forged a tie-up for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Rahul also had a word of caution and reprimand for the state Congress leadership, when he told them to nurture the grassroots and come out of their comfort zones. Assigning a specific responsibility to Jyotiraditya and Priyanka, he said:
“Ye jo high fliers hain, helicopter mein udne wale neta hain, inse kaam nahi chalne wala. Jo gaon, kasbe, sheher mein ladte hain, unko aagey badhaiye aur phir dekhiye Congress kaise khadi hoti hai. (The high fliers are of little use. We need street fighters and we need to give them responsibility).”
Asking the party leaders to pull up their boot-straps, Rahul said: “UP is very dear to us. Congress began its journey from UP and we cannot leave it weak.”
Referring to Priyanka and Jyotiraditya, the twin party heads of east and west UP, he said: “I have sent them to revive the Congress in UP. While they would strive to improve party’s performance in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, they are here to work hard and ensure Congress forms the UP government in 2022.”
Later, talking to cadres after the five-hour roadshow, he said everyone in UP felt the need for a Congress government. “UP’s youth, farmers, poor, OBC, Dalit and everyone else wants a government that ensures development. They want a Congress government,” he said.
In his brief address during a stopover at Lalbagh, Rahul was at his belligerent best. He said Congress was not a party to play on the back-foot. “Priyanka and Jyotiraditya will play an aggressive role. We will play on the front foot in all states without hesitation or fear.”
Saying that India was currently embroiled in a war of ideology, he said: “On one hand is Congress which talks about brotherhood, love and inclusive culture and on the other hand BJP, RSS and Modi divide people, spread hatred and weaken national integrity.”
Rahul said the people of UP and India have seen the outcome of Modi-raj. “Everyone knows what Modi has given to the people in five years. Youth are demanding answers on jobs. Farmers are asking why their loan cannot be waived, but Modi has no answer.”