Indian media: BJP's 'scathing attack' on Priyanka Gandhi

Priyanka Gandhi (right) and her husband Robert Vadra have rejected the BJP's allegations Image copyright AP
Image caption Priyanka Gandhi (right) and her husband Robert Vadra have rejected the BJP's allegations

Media in India are highlighting the main opposition Bharatiya Janta Party's (BJP) "scathing attack" on the ruling Congress party's Priyanka Gandhi.

Priyanka Gandhi is a member of the Gandhi-Nehru dynasty which has dominated Indian politics for decades.

She has been bitterly critical of the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi during her campaign in the ongoing general election.

The BJP on Tuesday hit back and accused Priyanka Gandhi's husband, Robert Vadra, of corruption and illegal business dealings, the India Today website reports.

"The video [released by the BJP] shows a snazzily dressed Mr Vadra riding a fancy bike and working out, contrasting it with poverty-struck farmers whose land had been [allegedly] taken by him. The video accuses [Congress party chief] Sonia [Gandhi] and Rahul Gandhi of facilitating the illegal land deals for Mr Vadra," reports the Indian Express.

Priyanka Gandhi rejected the BJP's allegations, saying the opposition party was scrambling like "panic-stricken rats" ahead of the results on 16 May, reports The Indian Express.

Meanwhile, the Congress has hinted that it may support a Third Front government in the event of a hung parliament.

Earlier this year, leaders of 11 regional political parties came together to form the Third Front to contest against the Congress and the BJP.

Ahmed Patel, Sonia Gandhi's top aide, on Sunday told the NDTV news channel that the Congress may support the alliance of regional parties.

Rickshaw puller candidate

Elsewhere, two regional parties on Sunday raised questions over Mr Modi's credentials to be the country's leader, reports said.

Federal minister Farooq Abdullah, chief of the National Conference party that rules Indian-administered Kashmir, said that people who vote for Mr Modi "should jump into the sea", The Indian Express reported.

"They say those who don't vote for Mr Modi should go to Pakistan. (I say) those who vote for Mr Modi should jump into the sea… Why should we go? This is our home. We are its owners," the paper quotes Mr Abdullah as saying.

Mr Modi was also criticised by Derek O'Brien, spokesperson of the ruling Trinamul Congress party in West Bengal state. Mr O'Brien described Mr Modi as the "butcher of Gujarat", the First Post website reported.

Mr Modi is accused of doing little to stop anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat in 2002 which left more than 1,000 dead - an allegation he has always denied.

And finally, a rickshaw puller has to give free rides to his security officer while campaigning in Amritsar, The Indian Express reports.

Mohinder Singh is contesting as an independent candidate from Amritsar in the northern state of Punjab and has been given two security guards by the police.

"He is carrying the burden of his two Punjab Police guards, quite literally. He pedals around seeking votes, one policeman perched on the rickshaw," the paper says.

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