Priyanka Gandhi on Friday joined brother Rahul Gandhi in attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his "adopted son" remark, saying Uttar Pradesh does not need an outsider when it has its own to take it forward.
Priyanka, who addressed an election rally for the first time during the ongoing assembly polls in UP, asked people of the state to strengthen the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance and bring it to power.
She, along with Rahul, accused Modi of making "hollow" and "false" promises, particularly in the context of his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi in UP.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier said Varanasi has adopted me and I am like a son for it and will develop it...But I felt, does Uttar Pradesh need to adopt anyone from outside," Priyanka said to a cheering crowd of Rae Bareli in the Lok Sabha constituency of her mother and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
"Modiji, does the state need to adopt anyone from outside? Is there no youth here?...You have two such youth in Rahulji and Akhileshji before you who have UP in their hearts and mind," Priyanka told the gathering.
Modi, while addressing a rally in Hardoi on Thursday, had called himself the "adopted son" of UP and said the future of the state cannot be ensured without ridding it of the SP, the Congress and the BSP.
In her brief but impassioned speech, she said, "No outside leader is required. Every single youth of the state can become a leader.... Every single youth here will work for UP and make the state progress by leaps and bounds. This is the wish of Rahulji and Akhileshji."
Rahul also hit out at Modi, saying relationships don't develop merely by talking but by nurturing.
"Modiji, rishta bolne se nahin, nibhane se bante hain (relationships are not developed merely by talking, but by nurturing them)," he said.
Hitting out at the prime minister, Rahul said, "Modiji, you have not even fulfilled the promises you made to your mother."
He said that Modi has been going about making promises wherever he goes. "In Bihar (elections), he (Modi) promised to give special package. Was it given?.. I have a list of things that he promised for Varanasi - clean Ganga, ghats, ring road, free WiFi, Bhojpuri Film City."
Priyanka, the star campaigner of the Congress, told the gathering, "I only want to say that you should recognise one who speaks a lie and makes hollow promises and the one who wants to work for you. Strengthen this (SP-Congress) alliance so much that going forward this state is strengthened and takes it forward along with its people."
She also invoked her father Rajiv Gandhi in attacking Modi and said one should ask the people of Amethi what a prime minister does for his constituency.
"You should ask the people of Amethi what the prime minister did to them," she said, alleging that Modi has done nothing for Varanasi which he represents.
Attacking Modi, Priyanka exhorted people to recognise between "those who lied and made hollow promises" and those who wanted to work for people's welfare.
"I only want to say, enough of these hollow promises. This country and state have heard a lot of all this. You have been in government for three years now, what have you done for the people of Varanasi," she asked.
Urging people to strengthen the Congress-SP alliance, she said, "You all should take this alliance forward so that all these hollow things come to an end."
Making an appeal to the voters, she said, "Please ensure the alliance's victory."
With his sister sharing the dais with him, Rahul accused Modi of making "hollow promises".
"He (Modi) makes relationships wherever he goes...He went to Varanasi and termed Ganga as his mother and said he was the son of Varanasi...In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, he promised to change Varanasi," the Congress vice president said.
He also hit back at the prime minister for likening the Congress-SP alliance to a movie in which rivals befriend each other after the "interval".
"Like Shah Rukh Khan, Modi too made a film like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and promised 'Acche Din' but after two- and-a-half years, Gabbar of Sholay has come," he said.
Attacking the demonetisation decision, Rahul said all of a sudden Modi got the idea and decided to convert the hard earned notes of the people into plain paper and asked the people to go and stand in queues in front of banks.
Targeting Modi's approach towards doing things, he stated that the prime minister says 'India is dirty. You clean up. I have to go to America and meet Obama. I'll check when I'm back'.
Priyanka also attacked Modi over demonetisation, telling the gathering, "With a clap, the manner in which the prime minister made you throw your entire savings like throwing waste paper and made you all stand in queues of banks. Was it not like atrocities? Why you did all this?"
Priyanka said that women should not be recognised by the relation they have with a man, but as individuals and help book those who committed atrocities on them.
"Don't link women with any relation. On behalf of crores of women in the country, don't always link them with a relation but help end the atrocities committed on them and bring to book those committing the atrocities," she said.
Image: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi at an election rally. Photograph: Nand Kumar/PTI Photo