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Priyanka's appointment shows lack of trust in Rahul: BJP leader

twitter-logoPTI | January 26, 2019 | Updated 22:53 IST

(Eds: Recasts intro, adds details) Indore, Jan 26 (PTI) BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya on Saturday said Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's appointment as a Congress general secretary reflected the lack of confidence in Rahul Gandhi's leadership within the party. Equating Priyanka Gandhi Vadra with actors Kareena Kapoor and Salman Khan, the former Madhya Pradesh minister said the Congress wanted to field "chocolaty" faces in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls as it had a dearth of strong leaders. "A Congress leader demands that Kareena Kapoor should be fielded from the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat. Sometimes, others talk about fielding Salman Khan from Indore. Likewise, Priyanka was also brought into active politics. "The Congress does not have strong leaders to field in the Lok Sabha election. That is why it wants to fight the polls through these chocolaty faces," Vijayvargiya told reporters here. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader was responding to a question on the demand by a section in the Congress to field Kareena and Salman from Bhopal and Indore respectively in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. "Priyanka would not have been brought into active politics if there was confidence within the Congress in (party chief) Rahul's leadership," he said. On January 23, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was appointed the Congress general secretary for Uttar Pradesh East, marking her official entry into active politics. Vijayvargiya's comments came amid a controversy over senior BJP leader and Bihar minister Vinod Narain Jha's remark on Friday that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had no other quality except being "very beautiful" and the Congress should remember that beauty did not garner votes. The remark by Jha, who holds the Public Health and Engineering portfolio in Bihar, was met with disapproval from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United) even as the opposition Congress-Rashtriya Janata Dal combine demanded his sacking, accusing him of displaying a "perverse" attitude towards women. Meanwhile, Vijayvargiya condemned those associating the Centre's decision to confer the Bharat Ratna on former president Pranab Mukherjee with party politics. "I was watching a debate on a TV channel, in which it was being said that the decision to confer the Bharat Ratna on Pranab da was taken to strengthen the BJP in West Bengal. Those involved in this kind of discussions are insulting Pranab da," he said. Vijayvargiya is the BJP's general secretary in-charge for West Bengal. "The decision to confer the Bharat Ratna on Pranab da is the biggest proof of the fairness of this honour. It is wrong to link this decision with party politics. Such comments are condemnable," the BJP leader said. "Under the (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi government, national honours are given to those who deserve them," he added. Vijayvargiya termed the farm loan waiver scheme of the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh a political gimmick and asked if it had the Rs 40,000 crore needed for the scheme. PTI HWP ADU BNM RSY RC

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