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Rae Bareli: Taking a dig at Narendra Modi, Priyanka Gandhi on Sunday said a 56-inch chest is not needed to run the country but a “big heart" and “moral strength".

The Congress star campaigner was taking a jibe at Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial candidate’s 56-inch chest remark during a rally in Gorakhpur recently.

“A 56-inch chest is not needed to run this country, a big heart is needed to run it. To run this country cruel force of power is not needed, but moral strength is needed. It needs an internal strength," Gandhi said while addressing a meeting here. “Such type of strength is needed, which could even sacrifice life to save the culture of the country," she said.

Modi had said during the Gorakhpur rally that it would take a “56-inch chest" to convert Uttar Pradesh into Gujarat.

“Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav), do you know the meaning of converting UP into Gujarat? It means 24-hour electricity, no power cut for 365 days in every village and street. You can’t do it. You don’t have the guts to turn UP into Gujarat. It takes a 56-inch chest," Modi had said.

In her sharpest attack on BJP, which released a video against her husband Robert Vadra today, Gandhi said the party was scurrying around like “baffled" rats and she would not be intimidated by such “lies" but will continue to speak against its “destructive" politics.

“They are baffled and running around like rats. I knew that they will repeat their bunch of lies. There is nothing new in it but let them say whatever they want to. I am not afraid of anyone and will continue to speak against their negative, destructive and shameful politics," Priyanka told reporters after addressing a rally here. “I will not remain quiet and I’m waiting for them to say more," she said. The BJP reacted by accusing Congress of taking democratic discourse to a new low with its “abusive" politics.

Gandhi said this is the country of Mahatma Gandhi and people of all religions, including Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, sacrificed their lives for its freedom.

“Dalits and tribals sacrificed their lives for its freedom," she said. “This is your country and you are its guard. This is my country and the blood which runs in my veins has mixed with its soil," Gandhi said, adding, “It is your duty to protect the country and the ‘dharma’ of my family".

Terming the ongoing Lok Sabha elections as crucial, Gandhi said this time “you have to vote to strengthen the country and maintain its unity.

“When you go to cast your vote on 30 April, you should not vote for yourself, Soniaji, development, these things are necessary. But this time you have to cast your vote to strengthen the country and maintain its unity," she said.

“I expect from you that in this elections, you will not restrict your vision, but expand it. You have to decide which type of country you want," Gandhi said.

She said this election was not limited to a particular area, but to decide the new government at the Centre. “This election is not of a particular area. You are not going to elect your MP alone, but a new government in the country," she said.

Asking the people to rise above their area, Gandhi said before casting vote, “you should not only consider your area, future of your children, but also the entire country. When you will take a decision it will not be only for Soniaji, but for India."

“I know very well that your MP works for you. You will fully support her and ensure her victory with a huge margin," she said.

Priyanka also referred to self help groups started by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. “Nearly 12 lakh women in the country are associated with it. He showed you the way and it brought change in your lives," she said. PTI

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