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She was speaking at the day-long 'Satyagraha' held by the Congress at Raj Ghat in New Delhi on Sunday, 26 March. Similar events were also reportedly organised by the party in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statues at all states and district headquarters, from 10 am to 5 pm.
This comes two days after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was disqualified from Parliament over his conviction in a defamation case.
"The prime minister of this country is a coward. Slap a case on me, send me to jail. But the truth is that the prime minister of this country is a coward…he is hiding behind his power, he is arrogant. This country has an old tradition, Hinduism has an old tradition…ahankaari raja ko janta jawab deti hai (the public will respond to the arrogant ruler)," Priyanka Gandhi said in her speech.
Here are the main points from the Congress leader's 21-minute speech.
Catch Up Quick
Rahul Gandhi was convicted by a trial court in Gujarat on Thursday, 23 March, in a criminal defamation case that was filed against him for a remark that he had made on the surname 'Modi' in 2019.
Following this, the Lok Sabha secretariat issued a notice on Friday, 24 March, to disqualify Gandhi (as an MP from Wayanad) over his conviction in the defamation case.
Soon after, a political slugfest ensued across party lines as Opposition leaders rallied behind Gandhi to condemn the Modi government's move, calling it "dictatorial" and "arrogant".Expand
'The Martyred Father'
Looking back at her father and former PM Rajiv Gandhi's funeral procession in 1991, Priyanka revealed that her brother Rahul Gandhi "got down from the vehicle and started walking behind the Army truck. From Teen Murti to here … he walked behind his father’s dead body in the scorching sun and reached here … and he lit the funeral pyre. That picture is still fresh in my mind – my father’s body was wrapped in the national flag."
"That martyred father is insulted in Parliament, the son of that martyr is called an anti-national … you call him Mir Jafar, his mother is insulted, your ministers insult my mother in Parliament, one of your Chief Ministers say Rahul Gandhi doesn’t know his father is."Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra
'Trying To Save One Man?'
Criticising the Indian government for not being able to answer questions raised by Rahul Gandhi in Parliament, Priyanka said, "When they are unable to answer questions, they try to subjugate the people using their might. They try to crush those who raise questions. Have you ever thought about it? Open your eyes, this entire government, the ministers, MPs…why are they trying to save one man? What is in this Adani that you are giving the entire country’s wealth to him? That you get rattled when his name is taken … and the scurry to save him."
"Are they not able to see what is happening? Are you not able to see that your entire wealth is being looted? It is being given to one person, it is being given to a handful of industrialists. Whose wealth is this? Is this Rahul Gandhi’s wealth? This is your wealth…the PSUs built for you are being sold to them, given to them one after the other. Your employment comes from these PSUs, small businesses, and small traders…no big Adani can give you jobs, they will only snatch away your jobs. Then why are you not able to understand. You are paying Rs 1,000 for a gas cylinder and here, all your wealth is being given away?"Priyanka Gandhi Vadra
'Not a Pappu'
Referring to Rahul Gandhi's education in Harvard and Cambridge universities, the Congress leader remarked, "And you make him ‘pappu’. With the help of my media friends, you have not seen his degree, you don’t know the truth but you made him a ‘pappu’. Then you came to know that this ‘pappu’ has embarked on a yatra and it became known that he is not a pappu…lakhs of people are walking with him, he is honest, he understands things, he is going to the people, listening to their problems…and people are walking with him…they got scared.”
"The person who had filed the complaint against Rahul Gandhi in Surat had approached the court seeking a stay…he got a stay on his own case for a year…one week after Rahul Gandhi’s speech on Adani in Parliament, he approached the court to reopen the case. Within a month, the judge gives a two-year sentence to Rahul. How many people are languishing in jails without a hearing? In this case, hearing, judgment, sentencing, everything was so fast. And the next day, you said he can’t contest for eight years…he will be thrown out of Parliament."Priyanka Gandhi Vadra
'Walked Up to Modi'
“Your Prime Minister asks in Parliament why this family does not keep the surname of Nehru, the entire family is insulted, the customs of the Kashmiri Pandit community is insulted. Following the custom of Kashmiri Pandits, a son wears ‘pagdi’ after his father’s death, taking forward his family’s tradition. But there is no case against you, you don’t get a sentence of two years, you are not thrown out of Parliament, you are not stopped from contesting elections for many years," she further said in her speech.
"What did my brother do? He walked up to Modi in Parliament and hugged him. He said I don’t hate you…I don’t have any hatred for you, our ideologies are different but our ideology is not of hatred…Ek aadmi ka kitna apman karoge (how much will you insult one man)? Is this our country’s tradition?"Priyanka Gandhi Vadra