|Priyanka with Rahul at the election rally in Rae Bareli on Friday. (PTI)|
"I heard Prime Minister Narendra Modi say on television that the people of Varanasi had adopted him and he was a son of Uttar Pradesh.... Uttar Pradesh doesn't need to adopt anybody (for the sake of development)," she told a rally at village Baburiha in Rae Bareli, making her debut this Assembly campaign.
Priyanka had come with brother and Congress vice-president Rahul, who was the lone speaker at the day's first rally, held on the Government Inter College ground in Rae Bareli town.
But the hordes of young men at the second rally - at the football ground in Baburiha, 20km from Rae Bareli town - started hollering "Priyanka, Priyanka" the moment Rahul had finished his speech. Rahul then requested his sister to take the microphone.
Rae Bareli is the parliamentary constituency of the siblings' mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and has been a Gandhi family borough for decades.
"Uttar Pradesh doesn't need an outsider politician. Every youth present here is a politician and can help develop the state," Priyanka said.
"Two young men, Rahulji and Akhileshji, have joined hands. Uttar Pradesh is in their heart and Uttar Pradesh is their life."
Priyanka accused Modi of failing to stop the atrocities against women. "He needs to look straight into their (women's) eyes and stop the atrocities," she said.
"Modi needs to tell us how many atrocities were committed against our daughters, sisters and women in the past six months."
Priyanka mimicked the way the Prime Minister often raises his left hand and strikes it with his right palm.
" Yun taali bajaa kar note bandi ki (He clapped like this and announced the demonetisation). He forced you (women) to stand in queues to protect your savings. Wasn't this an act of atrocity against women that they were left begging at the banks to save their hard-earned money?" she said.
Priyanka accused the Prime Minister of failing to do anything for Varanasi. "Ask anyone in Amethi how Rajiv Gandhi had developed the constituency when he was Prime Minister," she said.
Rajiv, her father, had represented Amethi in Parliament from 1981 to 1991. Rahul is now MP from Amethi.
Modi had yesterday invoked the title of a 1973 Bollywood film to mock Rahul; today the Congress leader replied in the same vein.
" Aa Gale Lag Jaa (Come, embrace me)," the Prime Minister had quipped at Barabanki, ridiculing the political alliance between Rahul and Akhilesh. "What happened that they suddenly embraced each other?"
Rahul today retorted: "Modiji had promised good days, cleanliness everywhere and enough irrigation for farmers (during the 2014 general election campaign) as if he was making a film on Uttar Pradesh, like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. But people have realised after two-and-a-half years that they had voted for someone who was Gabbar Singh from Sholay."
DDLJ is a romantic hit from 1995; Gabbar is a cruel bandit portrayed in the 1975 movie Sholay.