Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is engaged in a bitter fight with UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath over the police action during anti-citizenship agitation in the state, is trying to appropriate the saffron sentiment while attacking the Chief Minister.
Interacting with the media at a press conference in Lucknow on Monday, said, “the saffron is not yours. It marks spirituality and belongs to the whole country and teaches compassion”.
Launching a scathing attack on Adityanath on his saffron clothes, Priyanka Gandhi said “he wears saffron but he needs to follow ‘dharma’ that saffron represents”.
She also alleged that after Yogi Adityanath’s “revenge” comment, the state police used brutal force and unleashed havoc on the citizens of the state.
Sources said that the party has a counter: Acharya Pramod Krishnam to take on Yogi Adityanath, who is also the seer of the Gorakhpur Math.
Acharya Pramod Krishnam, who was Congress candidate from Lucknow against Rajnath Singh, runs Kalki Dham in Western Uttar Pradesh and is well known within the sadhu fraternity and media.
The Congress has been giving him prominence in the recent past. Krishnam was seen with Priyanka Gandhi on Saturday when she was stopped by the Lucknow Police. He was seen running behind her. He was also present at the Governor House when the party leader went to submit a memorandum to the Governor Anandiben Patel. The seer was also at the press conference that Priyanka Gandhi addressed in Lucknow.
At Rajghat, Acharya Pramod Krishnam was given prominence with his associates who came to sit on the Satyagrah site, all of them ‘bhagwadhari’ or saffron-clad.
Acharya is well known within the Muslim community because of his speeches and attending Muslim social gatherings. He is also respected in the Shia sect of Muslims, who are believed to be close to the BJP. The Acharya has attended religious functions during Muharrams all over the state and sometimes across country.
The Congress is moving strategically in the state with Priyanka Gandhi invoking ‘Bhagwa’ and launching an attack on the Chief Minister, a party leader said.
The BJP seems to have understood the Congress game as UP Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma on Monday mounted a scathing attack on Priyanka Gandhi, accusing her of supporting rioters. He also alleged that she had attempted to malign saffron.
Defending the Chief Minister, the Deputy CM said that it is wrong to say that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had used the word ‘badla’ (revenge) in his statement,” he said.