New Delhi, March 18 (IANS) Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi’s journey on the Ganga on a boat is marked by religious and political symbolism to counter the BJP’s Hindutva thrust ahead of Lok Sabha elections but her tweets so far have been apolitical.
Gandhi sprung a surprise when she decided to undertake a journey in boat from Prayagraj to Varanasi to shore up the Congress prospects in the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh where the party is fighting most of 80 seats on its own.
The choice of the the two destinations is significant both politically and religiously. Both the cities, located on the Ganga, are regarded sacred in the Hindu pantheon and are known as seats of learning.
The BJP won both the seats in 2014 elections with Varanasi electing Prime Minister Narnendra Modi as its MP.
Priyanka Gandhi began her Ganga Yatra on Monday on a boat from the Sangam in Prayagraj after worship. She went to have ‘darshan’ of Akshaywat and worshipping at the Bade Hanuman temple.
In her remarks during her interactions with people during the journey, she made veiled attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government.
But in all her tweets so far since she made her debut on the social media site, Gandhi has been apolitical.
“Loved sharing my journey with these intelligent, dynamic young women from Allahabad University this morning. I met so many talented students today – they deserve a future in which their hopes and dreams can be realised,” she tweeted on Monday about her Ganga yatra.
In an earlier tweet, she tweeted a picture of the room at Swaraj Bhawan where Indira Gandhi was born.
“Sitting at the Swaraj Bhawan, I can see the room where my grandmother was born. She used to tell me the story of Joan of Arc while putting me to sleep. Her voice resonates in my heart even today. She used to say, ‘Be fearless. everything will be good’.”
Priyanka Gandhi is often compared by Congress workers with Indira Gandhi in her mannerisms as well as her looks. The tweet was also an invocation of Nehru-Gandhi family’s long legacy stretching to years before India’s Independence.
In her earlier tweets, Priyanka Gandhi also expressed condolences to bereaved family of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and also over the horrific terrorist act in New Zealand, saying that the incident should be a warning to the whole world that hatred is never benign.
Priyanka Gandhi had tweeted for the first time last week and these were related to her first visit to Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram prior to the meeting of the Congress Working Committee.
“In the simple dignity of Sabarmati, the truth lives on,” she said.
She also tweeted words of Mahatama Gandhi along with a picture of some of his belongings including his charkha (spinning wheel).
“‘I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent’ Mahatma Gandhi,” she had said in another tweet.