BJP wary of on-ground protests by Rahul-Priyanka duo: Rajiv Shukla

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra takes a look at Rahul Gandhi's hand after he manhandled by Uttar Pradesh Police at Yamuna Expressway while they were on their way to Hathras, on Thursday. A 19-year-old woman succumbed to her injury after being

Hitting back at BJP for calling on-ground protests by Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on issues like the Hathras case and new farm laws 'political tourism', senior Congress leader Rajiv Shukla on Wednesday said the ruling party is getting rattled by the public support for the two leaders and their efforts are creating an atmosphere of unity in the Opposition.

The former union minister wondered if the BJP leaders, who are criticising the Hathras visit of Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi, would also use the 'political tourism' tag for the agitations done by the veteran leaders of the saffron party like late Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani in the past.

"It is clear from the reaction of BJP leaders that the ruling party is upset," Shulka told PTI-Bhasha in an interview.

Amid a furore over the alleged gangrape and murder of a Dalit woman in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, the two Congress leaders recently met the victim's family.

After returning from Hathras, Rahul Gandhi also took out 'Kheti Bachao Yatra' in Punjab and Haryana on the issue of new farm laws, which the opposition parties have alleged are aimed at benefitting corporates at the cost of farmers. The government and the ruling party have, however, rejected these charges and have maintained these reforms will benefit the farmers.

Shukla, who was recently appointed as Congress in-charge of Himachal Pradesh, also said that he is getting the support of all senior party leaders from the state, including Anand Sharma, and he will now unite all the leaders on one platform to work together to ensure the party's victory in assembly elections there after two years.

On the alleged rift between senior leaders in Himachal Pradesh, Shukla said, "The organisation is being activated in the state."

Everyone has to get united and come on one single platform. There is a strong possibility of forming a government there. We have to take our voice to the public," he said.

Shukla also said he is confident about striking a balance between all senior leaders in the state.

Asked about Anand Sharma, who was among the 23 leaders who had recently written a letter to Sonia Gandhi, Shukla said, "Anand Sharma is fully supporting the party and will continue to do so."

On Uttar Pradesh, he said the Congress is playing the role of Opposition there and Priyanka Gandhi is always active.

"If anyone is active in the state, it is the Congress," he said. He further said the Congress party is fighting for farmers in Punjab, Haryana and other states as well.

"This is the reason that other parties are also supporting Congress. An atmosphere is now emerging because of all these for the opposition unity," he said.

Referring to former Congress president Rahul Gandhi's Hathras and Punjab-Haryana tour, he said, "Rahul Gandhi is fighting the entire battle and it is only his voice that is heard from the Opposition."

When asked if the two Congress leaders -- Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi -- would continue with their on-ground agitation, Shukla said it will definitely continue.

On whether Priyanka Gandhi will be the party's face in the UP assembly elections, he said, "There is nothing about having a face right now. She is continuing her fight.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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