‘My mother sacrificed mangalsutra for country’: Priyanka Gandhi tears down PM Modi’s jibes

Priyanka Gandhi also listed out the times women lost, pawned, or sold their mangalsutras under the BJP rule, asking: "Where was PM Modi?"

BySouth First Desk

Published Apr 23, 2024 | 11:18 PMUpdatedApr 23, 2024 | 11:18 PM

Congess leader Priyanka Gandhi speaks at an election rally in Bengaluru on Tuesday, 23 April, 2024.

Addressing a massive rally in Karnataka on Tuesday, 23 April, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra turned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘mangalsutra’ jibes against him.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra came down heavily on PM Modi for his repeated claim that Congress was planning to take away the ‘mangalsutras’ of women across India.

She also accused him of diverting people’s attention from real issues by exploiting their religious sentiments since he had nothing to show for his 10 years as prime minister.

Modi, in a recent speech that also contained communal overtones, claimed Congress would take people’s wealth — including even the mangalsutras Hindu women wear as a sign of marriage — and give it to Muslims.

Priyanka chose to recount instances of when women actually lost their mangalsutras — implying their husbands died or the ornament had to be pawned or even sold off to feed hungry family members — under the BJP government at the Centre since 2024.

Speaking at an election rally in Bengaluru, she also recounted how her grandmother, former prime minister Indira Gandhi, donated her mangalsutra to a war effort.

She added that her mother, former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, sacrificed her mangalsutra for this country. She was referring to the assassination of her father, former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, in 1991.

Related: ‘Muslims, illegal migrants, people with more kids’: PM Modi’s communal remarks 

‘Did Congress ever snatch mangalsutras?’

“Two days ago, claims started being made that Congress wanted to snatch your mangalsutra and your gold. This country has been free for the past 75 years, of which 55 years Congress was in power. Did Congress ever snatch your gold or mangalsutra?” she asked at the rally.

“When there was war, Indira Gandhi donated her gold. My mother’s mangalsutra was sacrificed for this country,” she added.

“If Narendra Modi understood the importance of the mangalsutra, he would not have spoken such things,” she said.

“When a farmer gets into debt, his wife mortgages her jewellery. When the children of the house get married, the women mortgage their gold,” continued Priyanka.

“Where was Modi when women’s savings were taken away during demonetisation? When labourers walked on foot during the lockdown, women mortgaged their jewellery, where was Modi then?” she asked.

“Hundreds of farmers were martyred in the farmers’ movement. Modi did not think about the mangalsutras of their widows. In Manipur, the wife of a soldier was stripped and paraded, but no one thought about her mangalsutra,” she recounted.

“Today, women are being intimidated to get votes. Modi, you should be ashamed,” said Priyanka, interspersed by Kannada translations of her speech.

Related: Over 17,000 citizens urge ECI to act against PM Modi for ‘hate speech’

Other charges

Priyanka also lashed out at the prime minister over other issues. For example, she asked how it was possible that a company that did not earn even ₹150 crore donated ₹1,100 crore to BJP, as evident from the electoral bond records.

She added that people were made to stand up in long queues after demonetisation, and were told they were doing it for the country.

She said they were told it would bring out all the black money while the actual black money was generated through electoral bonds.

She said whenever the Opposition raised pertinent issues, leaders were harassed and intimidated. She said Congress’ bank accounts were frozen and two chief ministers were jailed, besides cases being slapped on several other Opposition leaders.

(Edited by Arkadev Ghoshal)