Amethi (Uttar Pradesh): Congress president Rahul Gandhi Thursday said he has given his sister Priyanka Gandhi, newly entrusted with eastern Uttar Pradesh, the target of ensuring that the party forms the next government in the state.
The Congress will also fight the coming Lok Sabha polls with "full strength", he said at a public meeting in his constituency.
His two-day visit to Amethi had coincided Wednesday with the formal entry of Priyanka Gandhi in politics, after years of speculation on whether she would take the plunge.
She has been appointed general secretary for Uttar Pradesh East, while Jyotiraditya Scindia holds charge of Uttar Pradesh West.
"Priyanka and Scindia have been given a target. That is to form a Congress government in Uttar Pradesh in the next election by defeating and wiping out the BJP," the Congress chief said.
"Unlike Modi, I do not talk of a 'BJP-mukt Bharat' but speak with respect," Rahul said, referring to Narendra Modi's call to "free" India of the Congress.
"Whether it is Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh or Tamil Nadu, everywhere the Congress will fight with full might on the front foot, and you will see that after the Vidhan Sabha elections there will be a Congress government in the state," he said.
"In the Lok Sabha polls, we will contest with full strength, without taking a backward step," he said, referring to the election just months away.
He criticised the Centre government over the Rafale aircraft deal and accused the prime minister of "waiving" industrialists' loans, charges countered earlier by the government.
"The watchman proved to be a thief," he said, and repeated the slogan, "Gali gali mein shor hai, chowkidar chor hai".
Earlier in the morning, Gandhi visited a local Shiva temple after meeting party workers at a guesthouse.
Addressing a public meeting in Salon area, he termed himself, his sister and mother Sonia Gandhi as "soldiers" for the people of the constituency.
While Rahul won the 2014 parliamentary elections from Amethi, Sonia Gandhi is an MP from adjacent Raebareli.
Both fall under the turf carved out for Priyanka. Narendra Modi's Varanasi constituency and chief minister Yogi Adityanath's bastion Gorakhpur are also in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Rahul reiterated he has full respect for leaders like Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav.
The SP and the BSP recently forged an alliance in the state for the upcoming polls, keeping the Congress out of the pact.
The Congress president said the prime minister had not kept his poll promise on creating jobs, and suggested that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government had slowed development in his constituency.
"You will get your food park back, not 99 percent but 101 percent. All development projects that have been stalled by Narendra Modi and Yogi ji to hurt you will be back," he said.
"The BJP people are spreading hatred in the name of religion, caste and region. They get people of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar thrown out of Gujarat, get Hindus and Muslims fight each other," he charged.
"Narendra Modi means hatred, he is the symbol of hatred," he said, adding "We will remove Modi in 2019 and no one can stop this."
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Updated Date: Jan 24, 2019 18:54:02 IST