Priyanka Gandhi
Priyanka Gandhi during a 'padyatra' in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh last year.IANS File

While the Congress continues to mull over whether to stay with the "consensus system" or pursue party vice-president Rahul Gandhi's move to push for internal democracy, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra lashed out at the party on Friday saying that the main problem with party leaders was that they were not aware of the expectations of the masses.

"We don't try to know what people expect from us. What can we do if we don't understand their needs? Now is the time for us to mix with the masses and struggle for them. Let me know if there is any shortcoming in me. Let the party realise if it is lacking somewhere," Priyanka said at a meeting of Congress leaders in Rae Bareli. It was Priyanka's first visit to her mother and party president Sonia Gandhi's Parliamentary constituency after Congress' disastrous outing in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, reports India Today.

Priyanka had taken on Narendra Modi in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls after the latter had described Rahul Gandhi as a namuna (clownish character). She had said that those who aspired to be prime minister should be dignified. At another instance Modi said that Priyanka was like her daughter, to which she responded, "I am Rajiv Gandhi's daughter." Priyanka has maintained a low profile ever since.

While addressing party activists at the Bhuemau Guest House, she said, "We are not in power. So we can utilise our time in getting closer to the people. For this we also need to tell them about the weaknesses of the Narendra Modi government. Make it an issue of debate in your respective areas."

Priyanka asked Congressmen to challenge the new land ordinance of the Centre. "It is not in favour of the peasants. The government may acquire land of farmers without their consent. I am gearing up to struggle for them on this issue. But I also want you to do it on a larger scale," she said, adding that the previous provision of acquiring land only after a farmer's consent under the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act enacted by the Congress-led UPA government had been taken away.

She also urged partymen to use social media to enlighten people about the welfare programmes and acts which the erstwhile UPA government initiated.

"Use the social media extensively to tell the people about the benefits of Right to Education, Right to Information and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. Explain to them through social media why these programmes were strengthening the democratic process in the country. But social media should also be used to tell the people why the schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana is like any other bank account," Priyanka said when asked about Congress being outdone by the BJP as far as media coverage was concerned.