Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has made a startling U-turn on her Wednesday remarks wherein she had declared that the Congress would serve as a 'vote-cutter' against the BJP in those Uttar Pradesh seats where it wasn't fielding candidates to win.
When asked by reporters about Akhilesh Yadav's viewpoint on the 'vote-cutting', i.e. that no party would field weak candidates and the Congress was making excuses because the support of the people wasn't with them, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra put forth that all the Congress candidates were strong and contesting to make the BJP lose.
"The expectation is this only right - making the BJP lose? All our candidates are fighting strongly and it is the BJP which will suffer because of this," she said.
Just a day earlier, the Congress general secretary for Uttar Pradesh East had made a distinction between the party's candidates. In multiple statements to the media, she had spoken of how the Congress would contest to win in some seats and in others, cut votes of the BJP but not the SP-BSP gathbandhan. This was ridiculed by the BJP which highlighted that the 'grand old party' had been reduced to a 'vote-cutting party'.
She said the following when asked about the decision to not contest against PM Modi in Varanasi:
"If I would have fought from Varanasi then I would have been in Varanasi only. But there is a lot of work in eastern Uttar Pradesh. I am not at all upset (at not contesting Varanasi). I had told you earlier as well that if the party decides then I will contest. And I had said that Eastern Uttar Pradesh needs a lot of work. Politics is not only for winning. My strategy is very clear we have to defeat BJP in 2019 elections. Congress will only cut the votes of BJP and not of the Ghathbandhan."
Her remarks regarding helping the Gathbandhan were later rendered meaningless by her brother and Congress president Rahul Gandhi who alleged that PM Modi was remote controlling the SP and BSP leadership.
Akhilesh Yadav disputed her remarks. "I don't believe that Congress has given a candidate that is weak," the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said, adding "Today the people aren't with them (the Congress), hence an excuse is being given that they have fielded weak candidates."
BSP supremo Mayawati also lashed out at the Congress saying that the party had given tickets to contenders to help the BJP.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is also in hot water with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) which has written to the Election Commission to complain about a video wherein a group of children are reciting 'Chowkidar Chor Hai' - Rahul Gandhi's main campaign slogan - when suddenly, their chanting turns abusive.
Smriti Irani has taken her on over the video:
The All India Mahila Congress has put a spin on the video, writing that Priyanka Vadra stopped the children from using cuss words.