New Delhi: BJP leader Arun Jaitley says he is “in complete agreement” with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra that personal issues must not be raised by political parties and has asked her Congress party to stop targeting Narendra Modi, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.
“I am glad she has made this statement…the way they have personalised the attack on Mr Modi…whether it was relating to his marriage, or the security provided to a lady, or a tirade against him for the last 12 years in Gujarat, were personalised attacks without any shred of evidence. I am glad someone in the Congress party has said ‘avoid personal attacks’. I only hope her immediate family and her party heeds her advice,” Mr Jaitley said.
But he also added, “Issues of probity in public life are political issues, they are not personal issues.”
Yesterday, Ms Vadra had for the first time addressed the issue of the allegations of corruption against her husband, Robert Vadra. “My family is being humiliated, there are things that are said about my husband. The more they humiliate us, the stronger we become. I am saddened by the attacks, but I have learnt from Indira Gandhi (her grandmother and former prime minister) that the truth becomes courage,” she said.
Priyanka, 42, is not running for Parliament, but is managing the campaigns for her mother, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and brother and number 2 in the party, Rahul Gandhi, in their constituencies in Uttar Pradesh.
Narendra Modi has in his rallies dared the Gandhis to explain what he describes as a sensational leap in the fortunes of Mr Vadra, a 45-year-old entrepreneur. The opposition, including Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal, alleges that the Congress government in Haryana bent rules to assign sweetheart land deals to Mr Vadra, bestowing him with windfall gain.
The Haryana government has denied the charges and a few months ago, the Supreme Court refused to order an investigation into Mr Vadra’s property deals, stating a person “can’t be called a sinner merely because he is linked to a politician.”