May 20, 2024


Senior BJP leader and Union minister Anurag Thakur took a swipe at Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for not contesting Lok Sabha elections, saying she could possibly benefit from the 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament brought by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make her electoral debut.


In an interview with PTI, Thakur also taunted Priyanka Gandhi’s husband Robert Vadra for failing to secure a Congress ticket for himself.


The Union minister said Gandhi family members were welcome in active politics and Congress should in fact work hard because the country wants a strong opposition in a parliamentary democracy.


Attacking Rahul Gandhi for abandoning his old Amethi seat, Thakur said the former Congress chief had “run away” to neighbouring Rae Bareli which his mother Sonia Gandhi represented in the outgoing Lok Sabha.


Asked if the BJP considers Priyanka Gandhi a formidable rival since it has dubbed Rahul Gandhi as “non serious”, the minister said that was for the people to decide.


“We want a better and stronger opposition because that helps keep the government on toes and ensures checks and balances. The media and the opposition are the strengths of democracy as they hold the government to account through questioning. Whichever leader comes, we welcome them, be it Sonia ji, Rahul ji, or Priyanka ji. Even other family members can come, Robert Vadra ji is also making efforts for quite some time but Rahul Gandhi is not giving him importance,” said Thakur.


The minister added that while Priyanka Gandhi and Robert Vadra were both keen to contest parliamentary elections, they did not secure Congress tickets.


“I don’t understand what is going on. One was seeking a ticket, but did not get it. The other says, I’m a woman and can fight, but is not able to get a ticket to fight. Maybe, the 33 per cent reservation for women that Modi ji has given will come to Priyanka ji’s aid sometime soon,” Thakur said in a jibe at the Vadras.


Priyanka Gandhi one of the top star campaigners of the Congress in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections but is not contesting herself. She had assumed Congress general secretaryship on the eve of 2019 national elections but is yet to make her parliamentary debut either through Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha.


The Congress has said Priyanka Gandhi, being a star campaigner, is not contesting, and Rahul Gandhi had shifted to Rae Bareli as part of poll strategy and Priyanka can come to Parliament through any bypoll in the future.


On Rahul Gandhi, Thakur said, “someone who won from Amethi four times has run away from there”.


“Win and loss are part and parcel of politics. The BJP lost everything at one point in time but would still celebrate when candidates saved their security deposits. From two seats in 1984 we have come to 282. But where is your (Congress’) commitment?” he asked.


“When you lack commitment, that’s a huge problem,” Thakur said, in swipes at the Congress party’s first family.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: May 12 2024 | 2:00 PM IST