Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who has not campaigned for the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls this time due to ill health, on Thursday in a video message appealed to the people of Amethi and Rae Bareli to vote for the party.
In her message, which came a day after she sent out an appeal to voters in a letter, Sonia Gandhi said: “Serving you all is a matter of pride for me and my family. Rae Bareli and Amethi are an integral part of life and existence. Your and I share a special relationship, which is the biggest treasure of my life.”
Five seats in Rae Bareli and two in Amethi went to the polls on Thursday, the fourth phase of the Uttar Pradesh elections.
Rae Bareli and Amethi are represented by Sonia Gandhi and her son, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, in the Lok Sabha respectively.
In her letter on Wednesday, Gandhi had addressed voters of the two constituencies and appealed to them to vote for the Congress candidates.
In the video message Sonia sounded exhausted. This is the first time the Congress chief has skipped campaigning for the party that she has headed since 1998.
Hitting out at the Narendra Modi government, she said: “Today the entire country is fed up of the Modi government’s misgovernance. Farmers are facing heavy losses, youth are searching for employment and women are fed up with everyday price rise.”
“The shops of small traders are closing down, Dalits are living in an atmosphere of fear and hopelessness,” she added.
Urging the voters of the two constituencies to vote for Congress candidates, Sonia Gandhi said: “Once again the entire country is looking towards you (people). You all have always supported me. In this election too you have to vote for the Congress candidates and ensure their overwhelming victory. I urge you to vote for Congress and support my resolution and sentiment.”
She made no reference to the Congress alliance with Uttar Pradesh’s ruling Samajwadi Party.
Fifty-three constituencies are polling on Thursday in the fourth phase of staggered assembly elections in the state.
Sonia Gandhi has not been seen much in public for the past few months due to ill health. In August last year, she was forced to call off her mega public rally in Varanasi on the first day itself after she collapsed and had to be hospitalised.