Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra today ripped into UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over his comment last month about ‘opportunistic’ opposition leaders, ‘kar sewa‘ at temples, and elections, declaring “how does Yogiji know which temple I go to”.
Ms Gandhi Vadra, in Lucknow to launch her party’s six-point “women’s manifesto”, slammed Yogi Adityanath for his contentious remarks, saying “I don’t need any certificates from Yogiji“.
“How does Yogiji know which temple I go to and which I don’t? Will he give me a certificate on religion and my faith? I do not need any certificates from Yogiji,” she told reporters in response to a question by a journalist.
Ms Gandhi Vadra’s riposte was aimed at a comment made by Yogi Adityanath in the UP temple town of Ayodhya last month when he referred to Ram Temple and spoke about “those who were firing bullets at you… will be standing in queues for the next ‘kar sewa‘” if the BJP wins re-election.
“Talking about the Ram Temple was a crime… but look at the power of democracy. It is this power that has caused those who were firing bullets at you to bow down,” Yogi had said, referring to two dates – October 30 and November 2, 1990 – “two dates (on which) bullets were fired at Ram bhakts“.
These dates were when UP Police fired at ‘kar sewaks‘ marching towards Ayodhya.
“… if you carry on like this, they and their families will be standing in queues for the next ‘kar sewa‘. When that happens, there will be no bullets but a shower of flowers on Ram bhakts,” Yogi said.
Yogi Adityanath has frequently flagged the building of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya in his attacks on the Congress and other opposition parties, and earlier this month his deputy, Keshav Prasad Maurya, controversially tweeted calling for a temple in Mathura as well.
A town in western UP, Mathura is the birthplace of Lord Krishna. A prominent mosque – the Shahi Idgah – is located right next to the Krishna janmabhoomi, or birthplace.
Before she targeted Yogi Adityanath, Ms Gandhi Vadra announced a number of measures for women in UP ahead of next year’s election, including smartphones for female school students, scooters for girls in college and three free LPG cylinders for women.
Ms Gandhi Vadra also flagged the issue of women’s security – a serious subject given the worrying number of violent crimes against women reported from Uttar Pradesh.
“We want 25 per cent of the police to consist of women. All chowkis to have at least one woman officer and constable,” she said, reminding reporters that many crimes were unreported as the police is reluctant to file a case. “More women in the force will help the cause of women,” she said.
The Congress also promised Rs 10 lakh medical cover for women “for any kind of illness or disease”.