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Congress follows Gandhi who said 'Hey Ram' before dying, not anti-religion: Priyanka

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Rae Bareli, May 16 (PTI) Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday said her party follows the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi who uttered "Hey Ram" before dying and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was wrong in accusing it of being anti-religion.

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"They accuse us of being against the Hindu religion. We follow Mahatma Gandhi's ideal who had chanted 'Hey Ram' before dying," she said, addressing a poll rally at 'Chaudah Mill roundabout,' about 20 km from the district headquarters.

She alleged that while the saffron party claims to be a "champion of Hindu religion," the condition of the state-run cowsheds in Uttar Pradesh remains pitiable.

"They accuse us of being against religion for turning down invitations for the consecration ceremony in Ayodhya. Just look at the condition of the cowsheds in UP where a video showed dogs eating flesh of a dead cow," she said.

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She said that during the Congress rule in Chhattisgarh, the party improved the condition of cowsheds and used to purchase cow dung to aid self help groups running the cowsheds.

Priyanka has been canvassing every day in the Rae Bareli constituency, where Rahul Gandhi has thrown in his hat replacing his mother Sonia Gandhi, who had to vacate the seat after being nominated to the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan.

Priyanka highlighted the strong bond the Gandhi family has with the constituency since the days of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.

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"Bhaiya (Rahul Gandhi) will follow the tradition after winning the election," she said.

She accused the Modi government of trying to take credit for free ration scheme by putting his photograph on the papers related to the scheme, saying it was the Congress-led UPA government that brought the Right to Food Act.

The Congress leader also lambasted the BJP over frequent question papers leak in UP and promised stringent laws to stop such leaks.

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She promised doing away with GST on education and scrap Agni-Veer scheme for recruitment in the armed forces if her party comes to power at the Centre.

She said her party will restore the earlier method of permanent appointment with pension provision for the army personnel.

The Congress general secretary also spoke about creating a Rs 5,000 crore fund to help small entrepreneurs.

Voting in Rae Bareli is scheduled in the fifth phase on May 20.

BJP has fielded Dinesh Pratap Singh to take on Rahul Gandhi. BSP of Mayawati has given ticket to Thakur Prasad Yadav. PTI SNS VN VN

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