Sonia Gandhi woos voters via letter

The Asian Age.

India, Politics

This will be the first time in nearly 20 years that she will not be campaigning in the Nehru-Gandhi family pocket borough.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi said on Wednesday that she would remain away from campaigning this poll season, and made an emotional appeal to the voters of Amethi and Rae Bareli to vote for the Congress and defeat the forces which had “snatched everything from them.” 

Mrs Gandhi did not give any reason for her absence from campaigning in the crucial and high-stake UP elections. After she fell ill during a roadshow in Varanasi in August last year, she has limited her public engagements. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has virtually taken over the party and is chairing party meetings.

“Bahut chahate hue bhi kuchch kaarno se main aapke beech upasthit nahi ho pa-rahin hoon (Despite my best efforts, I am unable to be amongst you),” she said in a letter, ahead of fourth phase polling in UP Thursday.

This will be the first time in nearly 20 years that she will not be campaigning in the Nehru-Gandhi family pocket borough.

In her appeal, Mrs Gandhi accused the Centre of purposely trying to scuttle development projects in Amethi and Rae Bareli. Toeing her son’s line of describing the Modi government as “suit-boot ki sarkar”, Mrs Gandhi claimed that the Centre was “working for a select group of corporates, while the poor were suffering.”

Reaching out to her electorate, Mrs Gandhi wrote, “It has been a matter of pride for me and my family to represent you. Whatever we are today is because of you. We share a special bond with you and this bond is the greatest earning of my life.” 

She also ridiculed the BJP for failing to usher in “achche din” as promised before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. She accused the Centre of “going to any extent to remain in power.” Without referring to demonetisation, Mrs Gandhi said that the entire country was “suffering” because of the government’s “wrong policies and poor governance.” She said that “instead of providing “achche din”, the government has snatched everything from the poor, including their lands, jobs and money.” She added, “Farmers are in trouble, youngsters are not getting jobs, housewives are struggling.” Sending a signal to backward castes, she wrote, “The dalits are living in fear and feel helpless.” She then appealed, “The entire country is watching you. I urge you to vote for the Congress candidates.”

She did not mention the Congress-SP alliance.