Rahul Trivedi All materialsThe continuing legislative assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh were scheduled to be held in seven phases, three of which have been completed. All political parties are vying to win the crucial polls, viewed as a forecast of what will happen in the country’s 2024 parliamentary polls. Amid the ongoing fierce political battle in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, general-secretary of the Congress party, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, on Monday lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi as she said that he should focus on relevant issues.The attack by Vadra, daughter of Sonia Gandhi, the chief of India’s main opposition party Congress, came a day after Modi launched a scathing attack on rivals to his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), accusing them of being sympathetic to terrorists.She also alleged that the prime minister was making such accusations only because of how the Uttar Pradesh polls were going.Taking the the federally ruling BJP government to task even further, she questioned its politicians on the thorny issue of unemployment in Uttar Pradesh.“Why is there unemployment in the state when many government posts are lying vacant? He should talk only about relevant issues,” she said.Vadra was speaking while on the campaign trail in the Chinhat region of Uttar Pradesh’s capital Lucknow, where voting is due to be held on 23 February.
Modi’s Attack on Opposition Parties
Addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Hardoi city on Sunday, Prime Minister Modi said: “The attitude of the Samajwadi Party and Congress politicians is dangerous. These people use flattering terms when talking about a terrorist like Osama bin Laden.”He also blamed them of shedding “tears” on the death of terrorists involved in Delhi’s 2008 Batla House encounter.
"[…] We have to remain alert of such people and such political parties. They are prepared to put the security of the country at stake just for the sake of power," the prime minister added.
Modi was referring to a statement made by senior Congress politician Digvijaya Singh in 2011 when he said, “Osamaji (an affectionate suffix in Hindi) had been living in Pakistan for so many years, how is it possible that Pakistani authorities could not locate him”.However, Singh later pointed that he had meant to be sarcastic.Modi also lashed out at Uttar Pradesh’s main opposition group, the Samajwadi Party saying that when it came to power in the state, its government tried to overturn a case against Shamim Ahmed who stands accused of being involved in bomb blasts in Sankat Mochan Temple and Cantt Railway Station in Varanasi city in 2006.